The failure of President Obama’s deferred action directive that would have led to a radical immigration reform left DACA dreamers uncertain and despondent.
Meanwhile, the election of Donald Trump as president means a new immigration policy that will take a very different direction to that of Obama, according to commentators.
DACA is deferred action for childhood arrivals. On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security outlined how certain people who came to this country as children and meet certain guidelines could request consideration of deferred action for two years, subject to renewal. They were also made eligible for work authorization, stated U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
While the 2012 DACA announcement raised the hopes of millions of undocumented immigrants, Obama’s proposals to widen his deportation relief program ran into difficulty in Congress while a number of states led by Texas, challenged his executive orders in the courts.
An article in The Atlantic stated the expansion of DACA and another program – Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) – stood to add another 5 million people to the American workforce.
Instead, the Supreme Court’s deadlock in Texas v. United States halted the program and left millions of undocumented immigrants in deportation limbo.
The Atlantic article highlighted the dilemma facing about 800,000-plus undocumented youth who can work in the United States under the original 2012 DACA program.
The program gave them protection from deportation – at least in the short term.
This group faces many uncertainties. Obama in his response to the Supreme Court ruling said the existing injunction was aimed at the expansion of DACA. It does not apply to the young people who benefitted from the 2012 program.
The future of deferred action depended on who became the next president and which judge was chosen to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death.
Donald Trump, the president-elect, has pledged to overturn the 2012 and 2014 executive actions on immigration, according to the International Business Times.
The DACA dreamers who hoped for a more stable future in the United States would be facing a very uncertain future if this was the case.
Obama renewed the program for another two years, but his successor may let it expire, according to The Atlantic article.
These are uncertain and frightening times for immigrants. If you or a family member is facing possible deportation from Texas and need help to fight the action, please call Peek & Toland, PLLC at (512) 474-4445.