Before Trump’s announcement about the dissolution of DACA on September 5, there was much speculation about how any decision would shape immigrant youths’ fates.
The extremists and immigration restrictionists were pressuring this administration to end the program immediately. Trump took the hypocritical step of a DACA phase-off, supposedly because he has a “heart.” Cowardly, he sent his minion – anti-immigrant and then all-smiles Jeff Sessions – to make the announcement.
Do not be fooled.
The DACA phase-off is fake compassion and is already affecting young immigrants, making them vulnerable: It is calculated that thousands of previous DACA recipients have lost their protection and their work permit already.
The Center for American Progress reports that 8,508 individuals have lost DACA as of November 9, 2017 at a rate of 122 a day. That rate is predicted to continue until March 5, 2017, when the number will increase to 1,000 a day or 30,000 per month, unless Congress gathers courage to act and finds a solution for the approximately 800,000 DREAMers in the U.S.
More than two months have passed, and Congress has not acted yet.
Many of the people losing their protections now failed to renew during the one-month window of rush renewals granted by this administration. Among them are victims of the floods in Texas, people who did not have the $495 to renew, and some who just do not trust this government anymore.
It is calculated that 22,000 DREAMers across the country failed to renew DACA, in spite of the efforts of many advocates and immigrant youth who were ready to assist with renewals for free.
The Trump administration did nothing to promote the renewal of DACA during this window of opportunity and ignored advocates’ requests to extend the renewal period in states that suffered natural disasters.
Do not blame DREAMers and former DACA recipients for not trusting the government, especially now. There have been reports that ICE is not respecting a valid DACA protection and is detaining immigrant youth. For example, Felipe Abonza-Lopez, who is disabled, was detained in spite of having valid DACA and a clean record.
We can tell that immigration restrictionists now in charge of immigration enforcement are itching to deport brown individuals as soon as possible.
This situation is not only a moral failure of a deeply flawed administration (to put it mildly) but a real economic disaster for the communities where DREAMers live, as well as for the entire country. As we reported here, 95 percent of DACA-DREAMers work and/or pay tuition. Many have mortgages and make car payments. Their unemployment will damage the economy.
What can you do to support DREAMers? Call your U.S. senators and representatives and tell them to support a good DREAM Act legislation. Follow the action alerts of United We DREAM and/or your local organizations such as Aliento, The Arizona DREAM Act Coalition and Undocumented Students for Education Equality. Amplify their messages on social media (including signing petitions).
I can tell you from experience that it is very rewarding to help and fight for the future of immigrant youth. Please do your part.