DACA Discussion in D.C. Leaves Thousands Hanging

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, better known as DACA has been threatened to be ended by the new administration leaving many individuals who were brought to the U.S illegally at a young age fearing deportation.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly recently told reporters that President Trump is not expected to extend the program beyond its March 5th deadline, which has allowed about 690,000 young immigrants legal status. This is alarming news as the people that could be affected are some of our very own WCC students that are working hard to achieve their goals.

WCC has taken its own steps to provide the program to individuals who are eligible recently during the DACA Renewal Clinic on January 26th, but just as their flyer even advertised “We are not sure how long this opportunity will last.”

A WCC student who is not protected under the program told us about a recent incident involving his own sister, which sheds light on what can happen to people in danger of deportation if a program like DACA is ended and if our country’s current system of dealing with young illegal immigrants continues.

This student, who preferred to remain anonymous, said his sister was recently detained by ICE officials when she was waiting at a bus stop, attending a top university in NY and what happened is what can potentially happen to anyone else not covered by the program–because his sister was still going through the legalization process at the time and did not have the documentation that she was asked for, it resulted in her getting detained for 4 days with a bail set for $15,000 and also being threatened with deportation.

“We weren’t being treated with any respect,” the student said while dealing with the officers in the stressful situation.

This isn’t a criminal who was hiding in the shadows; it was just a successful hardworking college student. His family asked for help any way they could by using school officials, go-fund-me pages, friends, and family. They were able to raise the bail money and later even continue their legalization process.

“Family and friends is what helped us to keep going through this troubling time and knowing that we cannot give up,” said the student.

But President Donald Trump is not done with DACA just yet. He is proposing a new immigration plan that will extend the program to 1.8 million individuals by including people who have not qualified before and even those who have not yet applied, but he is using the program as part of his negotiation to push new immigration policies. Trump, in return for carrying out the new plans coverage, is demanding a border wall and to end the visa lottery.

America’s immigration policies are on a course to be changed and will affect not only millions of young immigrants, but some of our very own students here at WCC.

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