Nearly five years ago, when President Obama signed his DACA executive order, many supported the bill by pointing out how unfair it was to deport people who had been brought here as children and who had never done anything different from U.S. citizens. That argument still rings true today and has only been refocused by President Trump's anti-immigration blitz and the uncertainty surrounding DACA's future.
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, protects registered DREAMers from deportation and allows them to live, work, study and obtain driver's licenses in the U.S., although it does not provide a path to citizenship. Over 750,000 DREAMers registered and were vetted for the program -- and they are now wondering if the information they gave the government when they registered will now be used to deport them.
Beyond the injustice of threatening law-abiding, productive all-but-citizens with deportation over something their parents did, there are also economic reasons to support DACA or an equivalent program. In fact, this is one of the main points of Republican Senator Lindsay Graham's bill to replace DACA, the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy Act or the BRIDGE Act which, if passed, would extend DACA's protection of eligible DREAMERs for three years.
The education advocacy group Educators for Excellence and more than 600 presidents of U.S. colleges and universities both public and private support DACA and the BRIDGE Act, citing a "moral imperative" and "national necessity." The groups have published open letters supporting DREAMers and the policy of protecting them and allowing them to better themselves through education.
Whether you registered for DACA or not, if you are a DREAMER and are concerned about your future under the Trump administration, the best thing to do is to get the straight facts. Talk to an attorney. Meetings with lawyers are always confidential, and your immigration lawyer is always on your side.