By Julia Vergara | Staff Writer
The Trump Administration has begun to take action toward ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
This program protected young immigrants from being deported by allowing them to request deferred action for a period of two years.
On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security initiated the “phase out” of DACA and, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s website, they are no longer accepting initial requests for DACA.
The decision to end DACA was met by the opposition of many. Apple CEO Tim Cook took to Twitter to show his support of “dreamers”—a term used to describe undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. since childhood. Facebook, Google and other businesses also showed their opposition.
DACA students have been an important part of Baylor for several years, Baylor president Linda A. Livingstone said in a statement. The Baylor Law School Immigration Clinic has helped more than 300 Waco-area residents with DACA and other immigration needs since 2012.
“I assure you, Baylor will not waver in our commitment to support all of our students and celebrate the diversity of our student body,” Livingstone said.
According to Livingstone, Baylor will continue to monitor the situation and respond to the needs of the community as the situation unfolds.
Laura Hernandez, a professor of law and founder of the Baylor Law School Immigration Clinic, said that now that DACA has been rescinded, it has plunged all the DACA recipients into uncertainty.
“A lot of the DACA application processed at the Baylor Law Immigration Clinic are from people who came to the U.S. when they were three or four. Most of them do not even remember their home country because they came over when they were so young,” Hernandez said.
“This is about young people who grew up in America,” Barack Obama said in a Facebook post. “Kids who study in our schools, young adults who are starting careers, patriots who pledge allegiance to our flag. These Dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper.”
According to a press release from the Office of the Press Secretary, DACA made it impossible for President Donald Trump to pursue reforms needed to restore fairness to the U.S. immigration system and protect American workers.
The same press release said that Trump’s current priorities include controlling the border, improving vetting and immigration security, enforcing U.S. laws, protecting U.S. workers and establishing a merit-based system for entry.
“I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals: To improve jobs and wages for Americans; to strengthen our nation’s security; and to restore respect for our laws,” Trump said in the press release.
Dallas sophomore Daniel Shrader and secretary of the Baylor College Republicans said that he believes Trump’s decision to end DACA is in the best interest of the country and that the U.S. should come up with a long-term plan to face the immigration issue instead.
Shrader said the system needs to be fixed so immigrants who want to become American citizens can come to the U.S. legally, become citizens and contribute to the country.
“We need to know who’s crossing the border so that we can better accommodate those that are looking for a better life here and also protect from foreign threats such as ISIS fighters who may try and enter the country with ill intent,” Shrader said.
However, Trump ultimately left the decision up to Congress—calling them to take action in a tweet that said, “Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!”
A press release from House Speaker Paul Ryan’s press office said that Trump’s announcement does not revoke permits immediately.
“It is my hope that the House and Senate, with the president’s leadership, will be able to find consensus on a permanent legislative solution that includes ensuring that those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute as a valued part of this great country,” Ryan said.