The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the “dreamers” affected by it face massive uncertainty under the Trump administration.
On the campaign trail, President Trump took a hard stance against DACA, vowing to extinguish the program. His rhetoric on DACA has gradually changed, indicating on several occasions that he considers it a difficult topic — at one point, he said he intends to treat the subject “with heart and compassion.”
In the first months of Trump’s presidency, the number of new applicants denied into the DACA program doubled from about 16 percent to 32 percent.
On Sept. 5, the Trump administration made the official announcement that DACA would end. The action included an immediate close to new applications. Anyone currently enrolled will continue to see their benefits for the next six months and may reapply for renewal if their benefits are set to expire on or before March 5, 2018. This six-month period allows Congress to take an action on the program.
Several days after the announcement, Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer met with the president to discuss immigration issues over a dinner at the White House. The Democrats said the next day that a deal was reached regarding DACA and a border security plan that would not include a border wall. The claim of a completed deal was then refuted by the president and other Republicans, leading to confusion and uncertainty on the issue. The Trump administration also stated its intention to continue deportations, with a focus on those with a criminal record.
At UNM, DACA is a familiar and personal issue for many students.
Before DACA was publicly rescinded, President Abdallah said in an email statement to the student body, “We would like to express our unwavering support for our DACA students and support their right to express their opinions in the public sphere regarding this potential change.”
Other University officials and bodies have released statements in support of the program in recent weeks. The Global Education office reacted to Trump’s policy decision, saying, “The Global Education Office affirms its support for undocumented students and families affected by the planned end of the U.S. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program….GEO is here as a resource and will continue to work with campus and community collaborators to voice our concern over the phasing out of the DACA program.”
ASUNM also released an updated resolution voicing support of DACA students.
The fate of the DACA program and the “dreamers” now lies with Congress, as top party members scramble to find a solution.
Gabriella Rivera is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @gabbychlamps.