Dreamers, DACA, and President-Elect Trump

DACA recipients are worried about what will happen to the program given the change in administration. Trump’s campaign has said they intend to end DACA, but what we don’t know is when or how. We don’t know if he will stop accepting applications, or renewals from here on out, or if he will revoke everyone who already has it. As of now, we nevertheless recommend moving forward with your DACA renewals, as they are being processed more quickly, so applications submitted soon may have a chance of being adjudicated before Trump takes any actions. However, there are no provisions that protect the information provided by the applicants; therefore, we don’t recommend the filing of new DACA applications, because it could make it easier for deportation.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA allowed roughly more than 700,000 people to get authorization to stay in this country. Along with the ability to legally stay in the United States, DACA came with many advantages that have enlightened the lives of the beneficiaries, including getting a driver’s license or state id, getting a job with better pay (which significantly helps their family financially), and in our opinion, the most important, the ability to pursue an education at a collegiate level.

DACA recipients are known as “Dreamers” and that’s exactly what they are. Many have taken advantage of doors it has opened for them, one of them being the ability to apply to a University without fear. The Center of American Progress states that sixty five percent of DACA respondents are currently in school and ninety two percent of those are pursuing educational opportunities they previously could not.

We know it is extremely expensive to attend a university, and even more so without financial help and we know it is very hard to maintain work and schoolwork. The Center of American Progress points out that Seventy percent of DACA students are also working and most likely working enough to pay for their education. DACA students are a sub group of undocumented students, which means they cannot get federal student aid, but can qualify and may still receive aid through the state and college, which is why they should still apply through FAFSA. As of 2014, there have also been scholarships made for “Dreamers”; some being up to $12,500 for an associate degree and up to $25,000 for a bachelor degree.

For “Dreamer’s”, college means exactly what it means for everyone else plus more. It means a chance to expand your knowledge in ways you can’t on your own, it means doing the best at what you want to do, it means getting the opportunity to be successful, and it could mean the beginning of a life that breaks the cycle of un-educated predecessor’s and we hope the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program continues.