When Could DREAMers Be Deported? Congress Needs To Hustle
President Donald Trump has seemingly made it his personal mission to do away with every shred of Barack Obama's legacy in office. After the controversial temporary ban on immigrants from majority-Muslim countries, he took on Obamacare. After that, he took on environmental regulations. And now, Trump is going after DREAMers. Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that Trump would be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, putting hundreds of thousands of so-called DREAMers (named after the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act) at risk for deportation. So, when could DREAMers be deported? Unfortunately, it could be as soon as next spring.
Trump managed to announce his DACA decision without actually having to say it out loud by sending Sessions in to do the dirty work, but his actions will still have consequences. While Trump maintains that those who are already protected by DACA can stay in the United States an additional two years, if Congress fails to pass a replacement plan in a timely manner, current DREAMers could start being deported as soon as March 5, 2018, six months after his announcement. Hopefully, Congress will get it together and pass a replacement bill, but they only have six months, and it's possible they won't be able to.
While many Republicans have called DACA unconstitutional, that simply isn't the case. However, that doesn't mean that Trump's decision to end it is any less surprising. After all, this is the man who literally said, "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists," referring to Mexican immigrants. Clearly, the president doesn't realize that DREAMers are all people who were brought to the United States as children, many without a choice in the matter, and who must work or go to school while in the U.S. But most importantly, they're humans.
Hopefully, Congress will remember that as they attempt to pass new legislation. While it's important to note that "DREAMers can remain in the U.S.—if the Trump administration wants them to," according to Politico, that doesn't necessarily mean they will, or that they'll be able to live the kinds lives they've been living with DACA.
There are 800,000 DREAMers in the United States, and those people are contributing a lot more to society than many citizens, yet they live a life that is constantly at risk. Deporting them, or even ending their protections, is racism disguised as patriotism, and if Congress doesn't find a way to protect them, they are all at an even greater risk.