President Trump expected to end program for young immigrants
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — For close to a million children of undocumented immigrants, the halt to the federal government’s DACA program could mean restricted access to higher education and employment opportunities and the possibility of deportation from the United States.
The 2012 executive order signed by President Barack Obama, called “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” — or DACA — allowed young people who were brought to the United States illegally as children to stay in the country, to study or work without the threat of deportation.
President Donald Trump is expected to announce Tuesday that he will end DACA in six months, giving Congress the time to replace the executive order with formal legislation that would preserve those protections for the young people who have been called “Dreamers” after the Dream Act which was previously introduced in Congress in several forms, but never passed.
If the current Congress fails to act, an estimated 800,000 people who qualified for the DACA program could face the possibility of deportation. Benjamin Prado, an immigration rights activist with the American Friends Service Committee in San Diego fears that “Dreamers” and their entire families will be targeted for deportation.
“What we see is the way many immigration agencies do their jobs; they not only go after the individual that they’re looking for but then they start questioning the rest of the family. They start what they consider collateral arrests. That’s why it’s very important, now more than ever, that people understand clearly what their constitutional rights are and that they defend their families,” Prado said.
The president of San Diego State University, Sally Roush has written a letter to the White House asking President Trump to retain the DACA program.
The letter read in part, “We urge you to give greatest weight to the fact that these individuals who arrived in this country too young to have made the decision to come here, or to have understood any consequent impact on their citizenship, have in fact excelled as students and as good citizens.”
More than 400 American business leaders, including the CEO’s of AT&T, Best Buy, Amazon, Facebook and Apple have signed a letter to President Trump calling for the DACA program to be retained.
They assert that the U.S. economy could lose $460 billion and $25 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions.