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Since the election of President Trump and with the fate of the 800,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) recipients in question, five separate legislative proposals have been introduced in Congress in an attempt to resolve the DACA issue. The pending bills, the Dream Act of 2017, Recognizing America’s Children Act, the American Hope Act, the BRIDGE Act and the newest proposal, the Succeed Act, each have their own set of criteria, with four out of five of the proposals offering pathways to citizenship.

As discussed in this author’s previous article, on Sept. 5, the Trump Administration rescinded DACA. President Trump gave Congress six months to find a solution protecting the 800,000 Dreamers from deportation and preserving the lives that they built for themselves in reliance on their DACA permit. The six-month window closes on March 5, 2018. To date, Congress has not reached an agreement regarding DACA. However, in anticipation of Trump’s canceling DACA, a promise on which he campaigned, several options have been presented to Congress for consideration.

five legislative DACA proposal infograph

The names of the local DACA recipients are not published due to the sensitive nature of their stories, and because these recipients are affected by the recession of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Executive Order. 

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order (“DACA”) implemented by President Barack Obama in 2012 finds itself in the center of controversy following the election of President Donald J. Trump. DACA paved the way for undocumented youth, known as Dreamers, to obtain work permits, attend school and obtain driver’s licenses in some states.

To be eligible for DACA, a recipient had to meet specific criteria, including age requirements and no criminal history. While DACA was not a pathway to citizenship, it did allow the recipient to apply for a two-year renewable permit. To date, there are approximately 800,000 DACA recipients in the United States according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

As Aug. 15 marked the fifth anniversary of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) by the Obama Administration, many recipients remain uncertain of their DACA security under the Trump AdministrationThe attorneys general from 10 states notified the Trump Administration that if it does not phase out DACA renewals and disband the program by Sept. 5, they will challenge DACA in its entirety in a pending case in Texas District Court.

Since its inception, DACA’s approximately 800,000 recipients have received work permits and higher education opportunities. Proponents of DACA maintain that DACA recipients are a valuable part of our national and local economies. They hold positions such as teachers, nurses, physicians and serve in the military.

Proponents also maintain DACA recipients contribute to the economy due to the issuance of work permits. The income earned due to the permits gives recipients a chance to buy new homes, new cars, and other goods.