We are going to be hearing the term “DACA” (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program) a lot in the upcoming month. Why is this, and what is this?
So what is DACA? President Obama created the DACA program through executive order in June of 2012. This programs allows young people brought to this country illegally by their parents to get a temporary reprieve from deportation and to receive permission to work, study and obtain driver’s licenses. DACA applicants had to be younger than 31 years old when the program began. They also had to prove that they had lived in the United States continuously since June 15, 2007, and that they had arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16. Those signing up for DACA had to also show that they had clean criminal records. They have to be enrolled in high school or college, or serve in the military. (Wow! That’s a lot of documentation for someone who is undocumented!) Their status is renewable every two years. Conservatives felt Obama overstepped his authority, but they decided not to challenge it.
And why are we going to be hearing so much about DACA? Since DACA was not passed as an actual law, and its validity and parameters had been in question, President Trump felt it would be wise to give Congress six months to come up with a law that would properly address the DACA issue before dealing with it himself (what can be created by executive order can also be terminated or modified by executive order). Well, that was five months ago, and time is running out. (Congress, I’m sure, will push their vote, if they can even get to that point, to the last possible minute.)
Who are these “dreamers” that fall under the DACA program anyway? About 800,000 immigrants, who were children when they arrived in the U.S. illegally, have benefitted from the program. Most arrived from Mexico (80%), El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, although there are also several thousand from Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. They reside in every state, with the largest concentrations in California and Texas. Currently, there are nearly 690,000 of these immigrants still enrolled in the program. At this point, Dreamers range in age from 16 to 36.
The biased mainstream media would have you believe that most Dreamers are valedictorians of their high school class, but sadly this is not the case.
According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), 2,139 DACA recipients have had their protected status revoked due to crimes including: murder, rape, alien smuggling, assaultive offenses, domestic violence, drug offenses, DUI, larceny and thefts, criminal trespass and burglary, sexual offenses with minors, other sex offenses, gang related involvement and weapons offenses.
In these cases, they sound a lot more like “Nightmares” than “Dreamers!”
Keep in mind also that any future determinations about the status of the Dreamers will most assuredly include their parents and probably other family members as well, which could push the numbers we’re talking about here to well over a million.