President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last week a roll back of Obama-era actions to ease immigration for those brought here as children. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, was an immigration policy that eased the illegal immigration crisis.
It stated that if these people were brought here before the age of 15 and lived in the United States continuously since then, they’re granted a path to citizenship. These “Dreamers,” also have to have a high school diploma or be honorably discharged from the U.S. military.
After these requirements have been met, the person is then allowed a two year deference on their immigration status after completing some forms and paying a fee.
In a statement by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the APLU said that Congress is urged to codify DACA provisions into law. “The decision to end the DACA program without a clear legislative solution in place unquestionably creates great uncertainty for the roughly 800,000 young people currently enrolled.” Without proper codification from Congress, those people who have enrolled and have had their status deferred could now be considered illegal immigrants.
Kjersten Nelson, associate professor of political science at North Dakota State, said since the executive order has been rescinded, those people who were safe under it are now in jeopardy. “Their official status is now that they are back to being undocumented,” Nelson said. “So, they are back to where they started, except now the government has information on who is undocumented.”
The one small hope for these people is that Congress could reinstate this program back into law. “If (Congress) would like this program to stay in place, they would pass legislation that would put it back into place.” However, if Congress does not want this order in place, all they would have to do is wait.
“Your average NDSU student would be surprised to find out how many other students are affected by this,” Nelson said. She added that with this order gone, some students might not be attending NDSU anymore.