By: Lyndsey Newport
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has received a controversial expiration date.
Serving nearly 790,000 undocumented immigrants, DACA offers protection from immediate deportation, the right to work and attend school in the U.S.
On Sept. 5, President Donald Trump declared DACA will no longer be taking applications. He gave Congress six months to come up with a new policy.
Trump plans to enforce deportation laws against undocumented immigrants once the six months are over.
DACA was created in 2012 in an executive order by former President Barack Obama. It was a direct result from Congress rejecting the DREAM Act, a law that would allow undocumented immigrants a safe path to citizenship.
Controversy over DACA stems from debate over whether the United States should be helping undocumented immigrants.
U of L student Leonardo Salinas is a DACA recipient who has found success in the program.
“DACA is not the solution but was a step in the right direction,” Salinas said.
Even though DACA has showed a positive light in the future for undocumented immigrants, it is still not a source of stability.
“Creating this program and ending it makes it feel like the government is playing with our lives,” Salinas said. Like Salinas, many undocumented immigrants have created a life in the U.S. that may come to a forced end once DACA expires.
While President Trump charged Congress to fix the policy, hope for immigrants still looks grim.
The DREAM Act, a similar program, was rejected by Congress five years ago after being filibustered by Republicans.
“The goal to have a program where immigrants can receive citizenship without punishment,” Sarah Nuñez, Assistant Director of U of L’s Cultural Center said.
As of now, both interim President Greg Postel and U of L’s SGA have released statements denouncing the removal of DACA.