The week starting Nov. 11, 2019, is a big one for immigrants who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The United States Supreme Court is going to begin hearing arguments about the program starting on Nov. 12. With the fate of the program hanging in the balance, activists and DACA participants marched to Washington, DC, from New York City, arriving on November 11.
At the heart of the decision is whether the program should continue on as instituted by President Barack Obama or whether it should end like President Donald Trump has stated. Watching for news of the decision is a priority for many people who have a stake in this program.
What does DACA do?
DACA is a way for people under the age of 31 who came to the United States without proper documentation before the age of 16 to remain here without fear of removal. To be eligible, they must not have a criminal record and have to pay a fee. They can either be enrolled in school or have completed school. They are given the ability to work and have a temporary waiver to prevent deportation.
What is the status of DACA?
Currently, DACA isn’t accepting new applicants. Those individuals who are already in the program can still seek renewals. The fate of the program is in question because the Supreme Court might decide that it must accept new applications again. It might also determine that no new renewals are processed. There is no indication as to what the justices might decide. More than 700,000 individuals are watching closely to see what this means for their status in this country.
Why stop the program?
The Trump administration notes that because President Obama initiated the program through an executive order that it can be discontinued by presidential authority. If the Supreme Court finds that the program must discontinue, there is a potential six-month phase out for the program. It isn’t expected that the court will issue an opinion until July of 2020, which would mean that there is a chance the program won’t be phased out until January of 2021.
For immigrants in this country, the fear of removal is considerable. Many of these individuals don’t know any other life than the one in the U.S. Because of this, they are concerned that they will be removed to a country where they don’t have any support system, and they might not even speak the local language. Fighting immigration matters is a serious undertaking. You should find an immigration attorney you are comfortable with if you are facing any of these matters.