Dreaming of a Brighter Future

Leah Cirks, Cactus Writer

800,000 undocumented immigrant youth are uncertain of their future due to the Trump repeal on DACA.

As of Sept. 5, 2017, President Donald Trump called for a repeal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Trump has stated that a replacement program may be implemented by December 2017.

DACA is a program meant to protect immigrant children from deportation. It allows these youth to gain education and employment. According to the University of California at Berkeley’s undocumented student plan, recipients of the program’s benefits receive a work permit and protection from deportation for two years. After two years, recipients are allowed to apply for a renewal. Students who go through this process are barred from becoming United States citizens.

With the removal of DACA, the fate of around 800,000 young undocumented immigrants rests in the replacement program. As of now, there isn’t one that is able to replace DACA. Obama created DACA as an executive order. Trump had originally intended to repeal DACA so that he could put a more permanent program in place through Congress.

What does this mean for the students of Central Arizona College that benefit from DACA? There are over 50 students currently in the CAC DREAMers club, the club that provides academic and

social support and scholarship information to CAC students with DACA work permits and undocumented students. Jackie Elliot, the president of CAC, stated in an e-mail, “DACA students currently enrolled in CAC will continue to pay in-state tuition until we determine the nature of the DACA repeal. We are committed to helping all people–regardless of their background–achieve their academic goals and fulfill their potential.”

Carol Johnson, a faculty advisor for the CAC DREAMers club, remains optimistic that the repeal won’t last. Johnson stated, “DACAmented individuals are paying taxes, going into college or the military, buying homes, and more likely than their peers to be law abiding. My hope is that the college keeps its promise to support DACA students should the worst happen.”

Johnson also mentioned that the CAC Honors Program offers scholarships and welcomes all students regardless of immigration status.

For now, many of the CAC dreamers don’t have to worry, but what does the future hold for them?