Extremist members of the Republican party have been unrelenting in their attacks on the DACA program that has allowed for the betterment of lives for many undocumented immigrants. The crusade on the part of the GOP has stirred many negative feelings among networks and organizations that champion the causes of young immigrants.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program provided a vehicle for qualifying undocumented youth the benefits of a social security card, the right to work legally in the United States for renewable two-year periods, and the absence of fear from the threat of deportation. And in many states the DACA program allowed for young immigrants to have access to both a driver’s license and in-state tuition to attend state colleges and universities.
The latest attack has been initiated by a letter written by Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, to the administration of current United States President Donald Trump requesting that the DACA program is dismantled. The request by the GOP is not an immediate termination but would instead consist of a phasing out of the program whereas renewals would no longer be given and no new applications would be reviewed.
The letter penned by Paxton also contained the signatures of a Republican Governor as well as nine other state attorney generals.
The action on the part of Republicans caused members of the Hispanic Caucus took part in a meeting with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. Secretary Kelly informed the Caucus that reports of the DACA program being in jeopardy are in fact true and that he was meeting with them because of pending cases in the court that were presently challenging the program.
Despite the alarms that have been sounded for some time among immigrants and their supporters, the worrisome words from Kelly crystalized the fight before them.
The DACA program has been operational for five years now and supporters of the program point out the clear benefits DACA has had to the United States. It has been shown that a full 95% of immigrants benefitting from the DACA program are gainfully employed, in pursuit of an education, or both. Millions of dollars have been paid to colleges and universities nationwide by DACA beneficiaries seeking college degrees. A final point made by DACA supporters is that the many financial gains made DACA beneficiaries have been reinvested in the advancement of education, the purchase of homes and business investment.
While it is certainly understandable why both DREAMers and their allies are alarmed at this time, it is not a call for panic. Supporters of DACA must push back against those who would see an end to the program by preparing and organizing with the same fight shown in 2012.
About The Frontera Fund
The Frontera Fund is the brainchild of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. The organization was founded with monies the two received after a lawsuit filed addressing maltreatment suffered at the hands of ex-Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The organization stands in support of individuals seeking American citizenship and is a champion for the civil and human rights of immigrants in the country.