DACA recipients holding a rally in Washington DC. Zach Gibson/Getty Images
Thousands of young immigrants in the United States in fear of deportation since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program rescinded in the fall of 2017, and now the Supreme Court questions its constitutionality.
But Dreamers know they have tons of work to do and organize as a team to fight for the program. Karla Marina, a journalist student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, explained how her life would change if the program is terminated by the highest court.
“If DACA is rescinding, I will go back in the shadows or probably deported to my country,” Marina said. “I was there when I was 10 years old, and I know I will have vocabulary issues if I go back.”
Greenspun College of Urban Affairs at UNLV. Photograph: Ramón Warini
These young immigrants faced a broad of obstacles before DACA, and so thousands of them like Marina understand how difficult been undocumented was, such as finding a job to pay for college or even traveling became a challenge in their everyday lives.
“I was afraid to go to college. First, school is very expensive,” Marina said. “I had to work with kids to pay for my tuitions.”
DACA launched in June 2012 by former President Barack Obama. Those who came before the age of 16 and whose current age does not exceed 31 as of June 15, 2012, were eligible to apply. Almost 800,000 undocumented young immigrants have benefited from the program since then. But in September 2017, the Department of Justice led by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the program allegedly saying that Obama’s administration dis-respect the constitution with the creation of the program that protect young migrants from deportation.
In February 2018 the arbitrary decision suffered a couple of reversals in courts. Federal judges have placed preliminary injunctions to stop the administration from eliminating DACA. The American Civil Liberties Union celebrated the courts’ ruling as a victory for young immigrants. Meanwhile, the so-called “dreamers” also honored the temporary relief on DACA.
Critics to President Trump from all sectors of society arouse since the program rescinded. A recent report in The New York Times states that former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is now defending DACA. She was the one who signed the memorandum during the Obama administration. She also condemned the DOJ for prosecuting immigrants for no cause.
Nonetheless, Trump and his entire vendetta towards immigrants allegedly testified that previous administration circumvented the Constitution by allowing people who broke the law remain free in the country.
However, the Commander in Chief has no other option but to do what he wrongly judged. According to an article in The Washington Post, CBP is releasing asylum seekers into the country without an electronic device. In other words, catch and release.
The president believes that undocumented immigrants kill thousands of American families and so they are a threat to its communities. The fact of the matter is that a recent report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows American born citizens are more likely to commit more crimes than Hispanics.
Whether DACA is constitutional or not, parents of these Dreamers prepare different scenarios for what’s to come in the near future.
Elena Aguilar from Austin, Texas, has two children; one of them holding DACA permit and the second one U.S. In a worst-case scenario if the program is terminated by the Supreme Court, she knows that her entire family will be torn apart.
“It will be a tragedy if my family is torn apart. I think I’m going to start searching for other possible ways to stay here,” Aguilar said. “My older son would have to go to Miami to stay with his father. The youngest holding DACA would stay with me.”
Elena Aguilar with her children. Photograph by: Elena
Fear of the unknown is what these parents going through. If they can’t find any other methods to avoid deportation, they would need to sell everything they have at cheap prices and leave. They also know that going back to their country, their life will change completely as they know the word “surviving” would become a lifetime challenge.
In the southern region of Mexico, the minimum wage salary per day is about $6 U.S. dollars or $8 in the northern region. In addition, your age and sex can determine if you are hired or not.
“I don’t want to go back to Mexico,” Aguilar said. “It is very hard to find a job as you reach the age of 35, no one wants to hire you.”
As of now, the Supreme Court rejected the White House petition to hear the case due to its unconstitutional legal process. Trump’s administration tried to overwrite the court of appeals and jumped straight forward onto the highest court trying to speed up the anti-immigrant agenda. The court may decide on DACA sometime this fall or summer 2020. Meanwhile; activists, pro-immigrant organizations, and legal advisers work tirelessly to put an end to Trump’s immigration crackdown.
Similar updated stories: Supreme Court blocks Trump attempts to end DACA.
Last updated on May 5, 2019 by Ramón Warini