President Trump rescinds Obama era immigration policy, ‘Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals’


President Barack Obama shows the Resolute Desk to a group of DREAMers, following their Oval Office meeting in which they talked about how they have benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Feb. 4, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

By Luke Quillen
The Carolinian

An Obama era immigration policy, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was rescinded last week by President Trump.

The implementation of this change in policy has been delayed for six months by the administration to allow for Congress to pass legislation reforming immigration policy, the implication being that any new legislation passed will be decisive in regard to the residential status of “Dreamers,” as those in the DACA program are often called.

The DACA program was created through two executive orders issued in 2012 that sought to fairly deal with the children of those who have immigrated to the United States illegally. All of the beneficiaries of the policy were children under the age of 16 at the time of their arrival in the United States and were required to have arrived before June 2007.

In addition to those stipulations, all “Dreamers” must have lived continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007, received a high school diploma or its equivalent, be working or enrolled in school, and must not have any serious felonies or misdemeanors on their record.

One of the biggest proponents of the moral thrust behind the program on the national stage is S.C. Sen. Lindsey Graham. He has continuously spoke out in favor of immigrants falling under the policy, and introduced a bipartisan Senate bill dubbed the “Dream Act” in July that sought to preemptively spare the young, documented, registered, and complying Dreamers from deportation if Trump did decide, as he has, to rescind their protections.

Still, some elected officials in our state are hostile towards the program – criticizing the manner through which DACA came into existence and its supposed negative economic impact on citizens. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said in reference to the policy that, “ … the rule of law has to mean something. And if there’s a right way to do this, it is to do it through Congress … “. Lt. Governor Kevin Bryant also stated that South Carolina is right to deny occupational licenses to DACA students, arguing that native-born South Carolinians should not have to compete with DACA students for licenses and jobs.

There are around 800,000 Dreamers in the United States and over 7,000 in South Carolina. Unless congress can pass a law in the next six months either reaffirming the protections offered to those under the program or allowing them amnesty, then all Dreamers will be subject to deportation.