WESTCHESTER STUDENTS ANTICIPATE DECISION ABOUT DACA
The clock is ticking and a solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has yet to be announced. At WCC, the wait for a decision is the main concern amongst the students protected by DACA.
“My biggest fear is not knowing exactly what is going to happen once DACA is completely gone. I took out car loans, a mortgage, opened up bank accounts and now I don’t know what to do with it all,” said a WCC student who wished to remain anonymous. “I hope that a fair agreement is reached between the president and congress, so that students including myself can better ourselves in the future.”
The DACA program was established in 2012, under former President Barack Obama’s administration. It granted eligible undocumented immigrants social security and work authorization.
“DACA Is Ending” is written in red bold letters at the official website of the Department of Homeland Security. As of Sept. 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the annulation of DACA under President Donald Trump’s administration.
“Congress now has six months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can’t, I will revisit this issue,” tweeted Trump.
One WCC student, who wished to remain anonymous, became a DACA recipient in 2011.
“My fear is that congress won’t come up with something. It’s been almost two months since DACA has ended and I fear that since it’s not the majorities’ problem, this will just be shoved under the rug,” said a WCC student, who is a criminal justice major at WCC and prefered to remain anonymous. “My hope is that legislation will pass a new plan because believe it or not, what keeps me from sleeping at night is not just me, but other people that I know who are protected by DACA. What keeps me from sleeping at night is the potential that America will never be able to reach if they keep ignoring the ones that can possibly provide change for this country.”
According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), there are currently 689,800 active DACA recipients.
“When I came here, I was eight years old. I applied for DACA when I was 16 and I got my driver’s license and permit to work around the same year. I have another two years of DACA and I hope that they won’t do anything crazy. I doubt that they will deport thousands of kids but you never know, so the main fear is not knowing what’s going to happen,” said an anonymous WCC student. “I hope that they will come up with a plan or a process for you to be able to get your papers. If they don’t come up with a plan I won’t be able to get my degree in finance.”
WCC’s Immigrant Support Group invites DACA recipient students who are in need of counseling to attend meetings on Thursdays in the Gateway Center.
“My family and I try to stay positive, we constantly try to stay updated on the news, and I’m positive something better will be coming soon,” said a WCC student who prefered not to give their name.