President Trump ending DACA, thousands affected
By Owen Kingsley
President Donald Trump announced on Sept. 5 the decision to end an Obama-era program known as DACA that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation.
Obama created and implemented DACA by executive order, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, in June 2012. The purpose of DACA is to provide protection against deportation for eligible youth who immigrated to the United States when they were children. The policy calls for deferred action for undocumented individuals that currently meet certain criteria outlined by the Department of Homeland Security.
Individuals who meet these criteria can apply for DACA. If approved for the program, DACA provides undocumented immigrants with a work permit and protection from deportation. In other words, undocumented immigrants are not granted citizenship, but they are permitted to work and learn in the United States without fear of deportation.
However, as of last week, the Trump administration formally announced the decision to end the program. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, DACA had protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants across the country. The termination of the program now places pressure on Congress who, according to President Trump, has six months to pass a law to replace DACA.
The end of DACA has stirred up controversy from government officials, U.S. citizens and DREAMers across the nation. Connecticut Governor Malloy expressed his criticism of the termination in a statement featured in an article in the New Haven Register.
“President Trump’s wrong-minded decision to turn back the clock on DACA is completely nonsensical,” Malloy said in the release. “From elementary and secondary education, to post-secondary education, to supports for vibrant, safe communities – we have invested so much into undocumented children who have grown up in America. Denying these youths with access to work opportunities and affordable higher education goes against the very core of who we are.”
Governor Malloy was not the only Connecticut government official to express disappointment regarding the termination of DACA. U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut also released a statement condemning President Trump’s decision.
“DREAMers have followed the rules, gone through the entire application process, and been approved to stay in our nation,” DeLauro said. “We should not betray them by threatening their ability to learn, work, and live in this country.”
Other members of the Quinnipiac community are standing up for DREAMers, urging Quinnipiac to take a stand against the termination of the program. Junior class president Jack Onofrio wrote an open letter to President Lahey urging him to sign onto the Pomona Statement. A letter signed by over six-hundred University Presidents in support of DACA.
“I just think it’s incredibly important, especially when you look at all of our peer institutes that have already done this that we make the statement,” Onofrio said when asked about the importance of this decision. “Because if we don’t we’re going to go down as that school that was silent, the school that didn’t take a stand, and I really think it’s going to paint us in a bad light in the future.”
Renee Redman, an Immigration Attorney in New Haven, is in absolute disagreement with the President’s decision to end the DACA program.
“I think [his decision] is horrifying,” Redman said. “Not only for humanitarian reasons but also because it just doesn’t seem very logical.”
Redman says that all of the President’s recent decisions are impacting her clients--especially cancelling DACA.
“People are afraid,” Redman said. “They don’t know what’s going to happen and what they have rights to do and what their future holds.”