Published: Tue, March 06, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Future still murky for young immigrants as DACA 'deadline' day arrives

Future still murky for young immigrants as DACA 'deadline' day arrives

I last wrote to you about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in September, when President Trump announced he would begin dismantling the program that allows undocumented residents brought to the children to remain in the country. Almost 683,000 people were enrolled at the end of January, eight out of 10 from Mexico.

But multiple federal judges ruled that the justification the Trump administration was using to terminate the program was shaky at best - and ordered DHS to resume renewing all existing DACA permits. On Feb. 26, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the administration's unusual request to intervene, which would have leapfrogged the appeals court.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals put its review of Alsup's decision on fast track, but legal experts don't expect a decision until June at the earliest. Deportation arrests have surged more than 40 percent under Trump. There were also almost 22,000 whose initial applications had yet to be decided.

But an ongoing court case is keeping DACA alive for at least the next several months, and the March 5 deadline originally set to end the program today has instead become a rallying call for Dreamers across the country pressuring Congress to act.

Among the Senate bills that failed to advance was a Trump-backed plan that would provide a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers - the almost 700,000 DACA registrants, plus 1.1 million who were eligible but did not register - in exchange for extra border security funding and dramatic curtailment of legal immigration. Immigrant advocates and their allies in Congress want a narrower bill that would protect DACA recipients, possibly combined with limited border enforcement measures, but the administration has balked. So despite Trump's initial deadline, the future for DACA is still unclear.

"March 5 is the deadline Trump gave the Congress to act and they haven't done anything", Bruna Bouhid, a 26-year-old student and Dreamer from Tampa, told AFP as she and others marched from the Washington Mall to the US Capitol.

Democrats even caused a government shutdown over the issue in January, but no legislation has been enacted.

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