The Homeland Security Memorandum implementing the President’s Executive Order of January 25, has been interpreted as widening the immigrant targets for removal but, at least for now, this has not extended to DACA students and young people who were brought here at a young age by parents or guardians. DACA is short for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
The Homeland Security directive is viewed as expanding the target list for removals of undocumented immigrants. The Trump Administration enforcement implementation plans include increased collaboration with local police, the hiring of 10,000 additional ICE officers and agents, and weakened protections for unaccompanied children.
DACA is the result of President Obama’s Executive Order in June 2012. Children or young people who entered the country as minors were eligible for a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit. If they met certain conditions including: they entered the US before their 16th birthday and before June 2007, are currently in school, a high school graduate or be honorably discharged from the military, under age 31 as of June 15, 2012, and not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or three other misdemeanors, or otherwise pose a threat to national security.
By June 2016, there had been 844,000 applications and approximately 741,000 were approved. The great concern is that these young people and children have come forward and voluntarily provided information. President Trump has indicated that he wants to treat DACA students differently. The potential impact of enforcement could impact on many aspects of child welfare including what happens to citizen children whose parents are arrested and removed, unaccompanied minors, and any future changes to DACA and its provisions.
As a result of the potential impact on a number of immigrant populations a number of organizations are offering online resources and guidance. Immigrants for Justice, is a group affiliated with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops offers:
The Immigration Policy Institute offers:
The Trump Executive Order, A Policy Brief
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) offers Protecting Our Students including: