Trump May End DACA, Putting Young Immigrants at Risk

President Donald Trump is “seriously considering” ending a five-year-old program that protects young immigrants from deportation, Axios reported on Thursday night.

Citing “sources familiar with the deliberations,” the outlet also reported that “Trump has made no final decision” on the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

Established in 2012, DACA protects immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the United States by undocumented parents when they were under sixteen. DACA applicants must have been living in the country since at least June of 2007 and either be enrolled in school, have a high school diploma or equivalent or be an honorably discharged veteran. They cannot have been convicted of a felony, a “significant” misdemeanor or more than two other misdemeanors.

Nearly 800,000 people have obtained DACA status, according to the most recent statistics from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Trump has made disparaging and racist comments about Latinos, Mexicans and immigrants since he kicked off his campaign for the presidency, at which time he called Mexicans “rapists” and “criminals.” Regarding the DACA program, he has been inconsistent with his stance.

A line of a June Department of Homeland Security press release regarding a department memo stated, “The June 15, 2012 memorandum that created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will remain in effect.” However, White House officials at the time said it was not determined how long the program would continue.

Notably, the same memo reported that a memo regarding Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) was being rescinded.

Trump has also repeatedly spewed false rhetoric suggesting that immigrants are more likely to commit crimes than native citizens — a myth debunked numerous times.

Reuters reported earlier this month, “As the percentage of immigrants without papers rose in the U.S. population between 1990 and 2014, arrests for drugs and drunken-driving dropped, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health.”

“The debate, both public and political, has far outpaced the research,” study lead Michael Light told Reuters.

“Our study takes a step toward informing these debates with the available data, which says that as the prevalence of undocumented immigrants increases in society, the prevalence of drug and alcohol problems do not increase in tandem,” Light added. “In fact, the data seem to suggest the opposite.”

Six Republican members of Congress — Dan Donovan of New York; David Valadao and Jeff Denham, both of California; Don Bacon of Nebraska; and Carlos Curbelo an Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, both of Florida — penned a letter to the president dated Aug. 22 urging him to continue protections for DACA’s current recipients.

“For many [DACA recipients], the United States is the only country they know or remember,” the lawmakers wrote, adding, “They are paying taxes, receiving driver’s licenses, and buying cars and first homes, all of which generates revenue for federal, state, and local governments.”

“According to a recent study by the CATO Institute, deporting the approximately 750,000 people registered in the program would cost over $60 billion in lost revenue and result in a $280 billion reduction in economic growth over the next decade,” the lawmakers also noted.

California, the fastest-growing GDP state, has largely been a staunch opponent of Trump’s inflamed rhetoric against immigrants and has significantly more DACA recipients in its population than any other state.

The University of California at Berekely now even includes a warning for its students that may be eligible for DACA “in light of the new Trump administration”:

“Do not apply for an initial or DACA renewal if you have a recent criminal history, as this may make you a priority for removal and provide the government with the information it needs to place you in removal proceedings. Consult with the USP attorney in such cases as we may be able to get post-conviction relief in your case. ”

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