On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Implemented by the Obama administration in 2012, DACA allowed undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to apply for certain protections. Under DACA, nearly 800,000 "Dreamers" were granted temporary protected status and have been able to obtain valid driver's licenses, attend college, and secure jobs. The Trump administration's decision to phase out the program prevents any new individuals from applying to the program and will leave current DACA recipients at risk of deportation.
At the Immigration History Research Center, we are inspired by and have learned from the many undocumented students, colleagues, friends, and community members that we work with. In the past several years, our Immigrant Stories project has helped over 280 immigrants and refugees tell their story. These include stories like that of Thiago, a Dreamer, who came to the United States from Brazil as a child. Through DACA, Thiago was able to attend college and --at the age of 30 -- to obtain his first driver's license. Stories like Thiago's are more important now than ever before to help us understand the sacrifices and contributions made by Dreamers to our vibrant and prosperous society.
We at the Immigration History Research Center stand in solidarity with undocumented immigrants in the United States. At the IHRC, we know our immigration history. That history provides examples of unfair laws which deprived many immigrant communities of any realistic path to citizenship -- even if they had lived almost their entire lives as productive members of our society. That history also includes other examples of U.S. policies that did allow undocumented immigrants to legalize their status, giving them the freedom to create opportunities for themselves and others. Because of what history has shown us, we strongly condemn the choice made by this administration to end DACA and potentially cast nearly 800,000 young people out of the only home they have known.
We are joining with millions of others to voice our support for DACA. We urge supporters to visit the National Immigration Law Center website for further resources: www.nilc.org.