US Leaders Urge Trump to Protect DREAMers from Deportation

Despite calls from leaders across Illinois and the U.S. to keep the protections of Dreamers in place, Trump ended the program in September. The Department of Justice announced that DACA, the Obama-era program to protect people who were brought to the U.S. as children from deportation and removal proceedings, was being withdrawn. Those who have current authorizations will be allowed to stay until they expire, with the first wave of expirations happening in March 2018 and the last wave occurring in March 2020. While there is a groundswell of support for legislative action to protect the Dreamers, it is unclear whether any legislation will pass before the authorizations begin to expire. Immigration lawyers in Chicago might help current Dreamers with identifying programs that might be able to allow them to remain in the U.S. if legislative action is not taken.

What the End of DACA Means

In 2012, President Obama signed an executive order to start the DACA program, which allowed undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the U.S. before they were 16 to remain. Applicants to the program were given work authorizations and could renew their DACA statuses every two years. With Trump’s announcement, the DACA program and its protections will expire in March, exposing hundreds of thousands of young people to the threat of deportation. Legislators on both sides of the aisle have indicated that they are willing to enact a law to protect these young people who were brought to the country through no fault of their own. Many DACA recipients do not have any connections to their original countries and consider the U.S. to be their home. With DACA’s end, they could be sent back to countries with which they are unfamiliar.

Trump Sends Request to Congress

Trump recently sent a request to Congress that any legislation to protect the Dreamers includes several hardline immigration measures. Among his proposals, Trump has demanded that any legislation includes funding for his border wall, a change to a merit-based immigration system and a crackdown on illegal immigration. Democrats are reacting with outrage to the proposals, making a bill less likely to be enacted. It is also unclear whether very many Republicans are on board with the hardline approaches that Trump has outlined.

While the fate of Dreamers hangs in the balance, a legislative standoff seems likely. An immigration lawyer in Chicago might find other avenues for affected people to explore.