On Sept. 5, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that his administration would begin the process of getting rid of The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, known as DACA. This policy has allowed more than 800,000 young people born in other countries an opportunity to stay in the U.S. to work, go to school and be a productive member of the United States. These young people are also coined as DREAMers underneath the DACA policy.
The Department of Homeland Security announced on Sept. 26, that they do not plan on extending the Oct. 5 deadline to re-apply for DACA. If DREAMers do not renew by Oct. 5, they will not be eligible to stay in this country and lose their protection next March unless Congress acts against it. The administration will continue renewing two-year work permits as they expire but will not be accepting any new applications. The program will not be phased out until 2020 but that does not stop DREAMers from worrying about their dreams being destroyed.
California lawmakers are working vigorously to defend DACA with a lawsuit against Trump’s actions. The L.A. Times reported on President Trump’s statement regarding the issue.
“The temporary implementation of DACA by the Obama Administration, after Congress repeatedly rejected this amnesty-first approach, also helped spur a humanitarian crisis — the massive surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America including, in some cases, young people who would become members of violent gangs throughout our country, such as MS-13. Only by the reliable enforcement of immigration law can we produce safe communities, a robust middle class, and economic fairness for all Americans. Therefore, in the best interests of our country, and in keeping with the obligations of my office, the Department of Homeland Security will begin an orderly transition and wind-down of DACA, one that provides minimum disruption,” said President Trump during his full statement on why the administration is choosing to end DACA.
Florida A&M University students, alumni, faculty and staff are a diverse group of individuals who come from many different walks of life. Some may be affected by the removal of these policies. However, the reaction to Trump’s statement had a disheartening impact across the Historically Black College and University.
“I think it’s unjustified and discourteous,” said FAMU business administration alumnae Jessica De La Cruz who has immediate family from The Dominican Republic. De La Cruz explained, “I believe the Trump administration is trying to extinguish any sort of immigration in this country and that is not right. These people deserve a chance at a better lifestyle.”
According to youth-led immigrant organization United We Dream “everyone has a different application timeline depending on their DACA expiration date and renewals should be made five to fourth months in advance of a persons individual DACA expiration date.” Many DREAMers have begun speaking out against the Trump administrations decision with protests in cities like Los Angeles, Denver, and D.C.; these protests are perfect examples of Americans using their freedom of speech to bring attention to this controversial issue.
Florida A&M University Broadcast Journalism student Shatanya Clarke disagrees with the administration's decision but believes in meeting important deadlines, especially when it deals with such an important issue.
“Personally I believe that deadlines are put in place for a reason," Clarke said. "I understand the financial and emotional constraints of having to re-apply. But we as a people knew what the current president’s stance on immigration was. Don’t get me wrong — I think it is crazy that the Trump Administration would want to send these people back to places they don’t really know. Regardless of where they were born, this is where they were grown, schooled, and even paying taxes. They know nothing of the place they were born so technically the US is home for them. However, knowing that his campaign was basically about deporting immigrants, they should’ve been more aware and should’ve started making arrangements to meet this deadline before he even had a chance of winning the presidential election.”