On September 5 Donald Trump changed the tide yet again with the announcement that he would rescind a long-standing executive action by President Obama to protect young, undocumented immigrants from deportation who were brought to the states by their parents.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the formal announcement to repeal the policy, evoking fear, uncertainty and disruption throughout the nation.
Most of all, this stirring injustice will directly impact Black communities, as well as the Latinx community. Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and Nigeria are the top three countries of origin with Black DACA recipients, according to the Black Alliance for Just Immigration.
WHAT IS DACA?:
DACA, also known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival was enacted as an executive action by former President Obama in 2012.
Recipients (who are also called “Dreamer’s”) must go through a rigorous application process in order to receive protection which include the following provisions: a two-year retrieval from deportation, work permits, state issued licenses, serve in the U.S. military and receive in-state tuition at public colleges/universities.
On March 5, 2018, the government will begin the first steps of the phase out process.
WHO DOES IT AFFECT?:
There is no clear path for citizenship for the over 800,000 men and women under DACA. As Obama mentioned in an impassioned Facebook post after Tuesday’s announcement, Congress has failed to act on passing a legitimate path to citizenship for DACA recipients on several occasions.
After September 5, 2017, no new first-time applications will be accepted. If you have received DACA provisions, and your permit is about to expire between now and March 5, you have until October 5 to apply for renewal.
According to the Pew Research Center, the five states with the most DACA recipients include California, Texas, New York, Illinois and Florida.
THE GREAT UNKNOWN:
- We can’t predict whether or not congress will pass a resolution before the March 5 deadline.
- Even though there’s a specific number being thrown around (800,000) there’s no definite way to measure the ripple effect this will have for the Dreamer’s loved ones.
- The Department of Homeland Security has the jurisdiction to deny applications, based on discretion. In the past, most applications were approved as long as the applicant had no criminal record/met the criteria.
- It’s not apparent how employers will handle the termination process, if congress fails to act. This will also have an immediate, unforeseen effect on the economy.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?:
DACA recipients could seek the following through the following methods to work legally through asylum, a family based visa or marriage.
All of us can put the pressure on our respective state politicians and representatives to get a bill on the floor:
- The Center for American Progress created this toolkit, which directly contacts politicians who represent swing states.
- Website Democracy.io has a tool which sends an e-mail directly to your congressional representative.
- Website FWD.us will contact your congressional representative with a phone call.
Follow the below organizations, activists and writers who have their fingers on the pulse of what is going on:
- The ACLU
- National Immigration Law Center
- Undocublack Network
- Black Alliance For Just Immigration
- Jose Antonio Vargas
- Jonathan Jayes-Green
- Erika Andiola
And as always, don’t forget to resist.