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Undocumented immigrants affected by end of DACA

Protestors+show+their+support+for+undocumented+people+at+a+DACA+rally+and+march.+
Protestors show their support for undocumented people at a DACA rally and march.

Protestors show their support for undocumented people at a DACA rally and march.

Adriana Chavira

Adriana Chavira

Protestors show their support for undocumented people at a DACA rally and march.

Sergio Payeras

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Like everyone else, illegal immigrants in this country have dreams, but on Sept. 5, it was announced that those dreams may very well never come true.

On that day, President Donald Trump decided to end a program that protects around 800,000 immigrants from being taken away from their friends, family and the life they’ve built in America. Now, its applicants, called “Dreamers,” stand on even thinner ice as Trump has put their status into the hands of Congress.

Current Dreamers do not have to worry about their permits until their expirations, but Congress has until March 5, 2018 to renew the program.

In June of 2012, the Obama Administration established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which allowed a selection of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as minors to be eligible for work permits as well as being granted a two-year period of deferred action from deportation.

Many Dreamers and supporters alike have taken to social media to voice their concerns for the program. Tags like #DefendDACA have risen on Twitter from these groups, and numerous users across other platforms have expressed their feelings in emotional meltdowns of anger, fear, grief and uncertainty.

Despite the emotion, it’s not a surprise that the Trump Administration has decided to end the program. With the increased feelings of anti-immigration in the government, the fate of DACA had been in jeopardy since the presidential election.

No matter how the current administration may feel about immigration, there’s a couple of things to understand about Dreamers.

They include people from all races, not just Latinos. They are found everywhere from schools and offices to stages and top company positions. They are behind television screens, hospital desks and even holding the pen that wrote a magazine, a book or a high school newspaper article.

They are as integral to society as an American born citizen. According to a survey in contribution with the University of California San Diego, 95 percent of Dreamers are employed or currently attend school, 54 percent have bought their first car and 12 percent have purchased their first home.

All this does not mean a path for citizenship. Dreamers are not granted amnesty. They aren’t eligible for services like Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Social Security and cannot vote. They are still required to pay federal income taxes, and in some states, are allowed to get a driver’s license.

Contrary to some belief, parents of DACA recipients do not get any of these benefits. As such, Dreamers still have to live in constant fear for the safety of their significant others who do not qualify for the program.

If anything, Dreamers have had to work twice as hard for what they have and will achieve. Or, at least, while they still can. Applicants who have renewed their status in 2016 have until 2018 until their work permits expire, and those who have renewed in the recent months have until 2019 . Beyond that, Dreamers’ statuses remain up to Congress for now.

Twitter: @justsergthings

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Undocumented immigrants affected by end of DACA