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DACA phase-out affects young Raleigh Dreamers

The October 5 deadline to apply for DACA harms young Dreamers in Raleigh and across the nation.

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On September 5, 2017, the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, instituted by the Obama administration in 2012, was retracted 6 months early by the Department of Homeland Security. This decision affects over 750,000 young adults from ages 15 to 36, most of these young people are from Mexico or South America and have no recollection of their birth countries. Dreamers, the common name for DACA recipients, come to America with their parents seeking work and educational opportunities, both of which become possible once they receive DACA. Once Dreamers complete the extensive application and go through a lengthy screening process, they are finally able to provide for their family financially and further their education in the United States. Without DACA, children who have been brought into the United States illegally, many knowing nothing of their homelands, are stripped of the freedoms that DACA grants them.

According to CNN, Judge Nicholas Garaufis, a US district judge who previously  “suggested at a previous hearing that the Department of Homeland Security extend the deadline” said that the DHS’s decision to keep the final deadline on October 5, 2017, affects more than just Dreamers. He explained this decision hurts “not just the 800,000 people who participate in the DACA program…but that millions, including family, friends and colleagues of DACA recipients” will be affected by this momentous decision as well. With the last day to renew or apply for DACA set for October 5, recipients of the program, newcomers to the United States, and supporters of DACA are struggling to come to terms with this ruling.

While the DACA program inevitably phases out over 6 months, this will “create a time period for Congress to act — should it so choose” according to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in an article by NPR. Since the DHS announced the drawback of DACA, there has been no announcement from Congress including any plans for the future of the program or a new proposal to take the place of DACA.

Dreamers and supporters of the program have been left to assume that there will be no replacement for DACA.”

It has also been speculated that the president will take matters into his own hands and pressure Congress, as he hinted in an ominous tweet from September 5 saying that he will “revisit this issue.”  

All across the country, there are discussions of the phase-out and there are rallies being organized to protest the president’s decision to strip Dreamers of DACA. Two young college students organized a peaceful protest in Downtown Raleigh that took place on October 1. According to the News and Observer, there were over 250 people that marched in support of the Obama-era institution, many of which were DACA recipients. At the march in Downtown Raleigh, Dreamers were able to speak their truths and give testaments to how much the program has helped them and their families. This recent march proves that the drawback of DACA has already left young Americans around the country, even in Raleigh, worried about their own future and the futures of their families.

YOUR TURN:   What do you think of the phase-out of the DACA program? How do you think it will affect your peers?

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DACA phase-out affects young Raleigh Dreamers