‘Dreamers’ fear Trump’s immigration plans on DACA’s fifth anniversary
By Harriet Sinclair
Five years after the enactment of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, “dreamers” remain uncertain about their future.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) highlighted the importance of retaining the program, which was started under President Barack Obama’s administration.
“Protecting DACA is not only central for immigrants’ rights, it is deeply personal,” said Lorella Praeli, director of immigration policy and campaigns at the ACLU. “DACA has provided members of my own family and community the opportunity to live fuller and better lives, no longer restrained by the threat of deportation. Here at the ACLU and so many other organizations, we are grounded in the fight to defend and advance the rights of immigrants of all walks of life. DACA is a lifeline and a reminder that this country still believes in all of our potential and welcomes our contributions.”
Applications for the program fell in the first three months of Donald Trump’s presidency, although they have risen slightly since then, NBC News reported. Applications from January to March fell 4,932 on those from October to December, with the number standing at 10,362 for the first three months of the year.
And those people who were applying for the DACA program now fear the outcome of their application, said Greisa Martínez, advocacy and policy director for United We Dream.
“Those who are applying for DACA and renewing are having conversations similar to those they had when the program first went into effect,” Martínez told NBC, explaining people were concerned that providing information would put themselves and their loved ones in danger.
“Trump is pushing forward a campaign against our families,” Martínez added. “I think every day you find our members and ourselves looking at Trump’s Twitter, looking for any sign of what’s going to happen to the program.”
President Trump has said recipients of the DACA program are not a priority for deportation, but groups advocating for undocumented immigrants have suggested the policy environment under Trump’s administration is threatening the stability of DACA recipiants.
In a statement on the anniversary, the Center for Law and Social Policy said in a statement: “Although the Trump Administration has claimed DACA recipients are not affected by the new guidelines and has not made any formal decisions regarding the continuation of the DACA program, at least two DACA recipients, Daniel Ramirez and Daniela Vargas, were detained and placed into removal proceedings, and at least one dreamer, Juan Manuel Montes-Bojorquez, was deported and is currently suing the federal government.”