President Trump announced Sept. 5 that his administration will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, which offers protection to roughly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
Enacted in 2012 under the Obama administration, DACA allows undocumented immigrants who are younger than 30 and arrived in the country as children to live, work and attend school in the U.S. for a period of two years, subject to renewal. The program does not confer citizenship or establish permanent legal status.
Trump’s announcement allows a six-month delay to give Congress time to pass a legislative solution that grants “Dreamers” legal status. If Congress fails to act by March 5, those Dreamers would lose jobs they currently hold and be vulnerable to deportation. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have interest in extending DACA, though there are some conservatives who view DACA as amnesty and want to end the program.
ASAE will make the case to Congress that DACA should be extended. Ending the program would have serious repercussions for the economy, according to multiple reports, and runs counter to American ideals, ASAE said. “ASAE and associations in general are designed to bring people together for a common purpose,” said ASAE President and CEO John Graham, FASAE, CAE. “ASAE firmly believes that a more diverse workforce is a more qualified, productive workforce.”
Congressional Republicans are quickly coalescing around a legislative solution that would pair language codifying DACA into law with tougher immigration measures. Democratic leaders are signaling they are willing to deal in order to get a DACA fix done, as long as the bill doesn’t include funding for the border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border that President Trump campaigned on.
Though Trump decided to end DACA, which he considers a major overreach by President Obama, he signaled he would be willing to sign legislation protecting DACA recipients.
“I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents,” Trump said this week. “But we must also recognize that we are a nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws.”