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DACA Deadline Only a Temporary Reprieve from Fear of Deportation

06 October 2017

DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era program that has provided temporary work permits and deportation relief to some 800,000 immigrants brought here illegally as kids.

To qualify, a person would have to have entered the country before age 18, lived in the USA for four years before the Act went into effect, been admitted to college or obtained a GED/high school diploma.

"The government has given us a glimpse of what it's like to live [the] American Dream", she said.

Several immigration advocates who spoke to NBC said Wednesday was the effective deadline, since renewal applications had to be in immigration office mailboxes by Thursday.

She said if DACA ends, hundreds of thousands of workers would disappear from the nation's economy, resulting in a $460 billion loss in national GDP over the next decade.

Although they do not have access to the federal financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, undocumented and DACA students are eligible for aid through the state of Oregon.

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Supporters say undocumented children brought in to the country by their parents should not be forced to return to places they do not call home.

Immigration lawyers have been scrambling to get DACA recipients' applications in by the deadline.

Although the Trump administration announced a month ago that those affected would be able to extend for a period of two years until March 5, in reality, they have to submit their applications for renewed authorization by Thursday at the latest.

DACA is a program meant to protect immigrant children from deportation.

Beyond the DREAM Act, Dorado says, overall immigration reform is the goal, because DREAMers don't exist in a vacuum.

"The fear is they're going to get this knock on the door once the program is over, 'We know where you are, we know you're illegal, come with us, it's time to go, '" said Lancaster immigration attorney Troy Mattes.

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According to Listo New Mexico's website, there are nearly 7,000 DACA recipients in the state, and following the new executive order, fewer than 1,500 of them are eligible to renew their documentation, which would allow recipients to benefit from DACA protection for another two years.

Colleges officials are anxious that uncertainty around DACA's future could lead many of those them to give up on their studies. "Why are you still trying to separate families?" she said.

Shruti Rana, a professor at Indiana University's School of Global and International Studies, says the future of DACA still remains unclear and has left individuals in the dark.

Trump gave Congress six months to fix DACA before the program is phased out next year.

"We are not just here for Dreamers, we are here for all 11 million", she said. "He wants to go back to school", she said, adding that though they sometimes have "a rocky relationship", she loves him, and "doesn't want to see him part".

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DACA Deadline Only a Temporary Reprieve from Fear of Deportation