Tomorrow, President Trump is expected to announce plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. The program provides deferred deportation for unauthorized immigrant children who came to the U.S. before they were 16 years old, and were 30 or younger as of June 2012. The decision could impact the 120,000 Texans who benefit from the program.
Published reports say Mr. Trump has made up his mind to cancel the program with a six month delay in enforcement. But those reports also say nothing’s final until tomorrow’s announcement.
Geoffrey Hoffman, professor and Director of the Immigration Clinic at the University of Houston Law Center, says so far there’s no indication on what the DACA phase-out process may look like, but there are several options.
“Number one – does the United States accept new DACA applications? Do they grant or stop granting employment authorization or do they just terminate all the daca statuses within six months, or on the sixth month date? This is an open question and its something that hopefully will spur congress to act,” Hoffman says.
That’s because there are several aspects to DACA status – it doesn’t just protect from deportations.
“DACA gives the person the ability to work lawfully in the United States, but it also defers their deportation and leads to what’s called lawful presence,” Hoffman says. “Although it doesn’t give anyone lawful status, it does give them lawful presence here in the United States.”
However, he says that that deadline of six months could put some pressure on Congress to take action to preserve DACA.
“It should be noted that there has been widespread bipartisan support for the DREAM Act and for legislation that could remedy this problem, so I think that’s actually a possibility,” Hoffman says.
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.
Post by Alexandra Hart.