On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions officially rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Sessions says the Trump administration will “wind down” DACA within six months.
Sessions called DACA a “failure to enforce immigration laws” and said the program, which was created by executive order during the Obama administration, was an overreach of the executive branch.
The U.S. government will no longer accept new applicants to the program, but the Department of Homeland Security will adjudicate the renewal process for current ACA recipients during the next six months.
Texas Standard Host David Brown asked two DACA recipients about their reaction to the end of the program.
Daniel Ramires graduated from Middlebury College in May with a degree in philosophy. He grew up in Houston and lives in Austin. Ramires arrived in the U.S. as at 18 months-of-age.His brother, also a DACA recipient, graduated from Harvard and is now a University of Texas School of Law student. Berenice Ramirez is a UT student, working to become a certified registered nurse. She came here when she was two years old.
Daniel Ramires on the rescinding of DACA:
I’m disappointed, I guess. I think I’m almost a little optimistic. I hope that after six months we can see something even better than DACA. Because although it absolutely changed my family’s life and my siblings’ lives, it wasn’t a road to citizenship. It wasn’t the right to vote. It didn’t guarantee me much other than the ability to have a job, to work, to have a license.
Berenice Ramirez on responding to the end of DACA:
I’m slightly relieved that Donald Trump didn’t actually end DACA right away. There’s still time to leave it up to Congress. While I know that this is a very trying, difficult and depressing moment for our undocumented community, I also know that my community is very strong, very powerful and resilient. And in these coming days, weeks and months, we’re going to stand together, stronger than ever, and we’re going to pressure them…We’re not backing down.