All throughout his run for President, Donald Trump repeatedly stated that he intends to get rid of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program started by the executive order of President Obama in 2012 that issues work permits to undocumented people brought to the United States as children. Current estimates of program participants put the numbers at nearly 750,000 individuals. The question now is, will Mr. Trump and his administration really revoke the benefit given to these people and leave them completely out in the cold?
If the weeks after the election to present are any indication of the direction Mr. Trump will take in the coming years, the outlook for “Dreamers” may not be as bleak as once thought. Post-election interviews with the president-elect seem to show that Mr. Trump has softened his stance on immigration issues, especially those affected by DACA. In his most recent interview for Time magazine, he specifically acknowledges that many DACA recipients are good students and people with good jobs that he would not want to leave with nothing, and that his administration will “work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud.” He has also recently stated that his administration’s focus will be to deport people convicted of crimes, not those covered by DACA.
There may also be new hope through a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator’s Lindsay Graham and Dick Durbin, that appears to have the support of House Speaker, Paul Ryan. The bill, called the BRIDGE Act (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy), proposes to grant “provisional protected presence” to those who currently qualify under DACA and opens up the possibility for new applicants as well. For now, the qualifications appear to be the same as those applied under DACA, but the benefit would last for 3 years instead of just two and will also offer work authorization as part of its program. The bill also recommends that current DACA participants be allowed to continue using their approved work permits until expiration.
Check back here on our blog to stay updated on any changes with DACA, BRIDGE, and other immigration news in the coming months.
FIND OUT WHERE YOU STAND! You may already qualify for a benefit that you are not aware of yet. If you have never talked to an immigration attorney about your situation before, now is the best time to do so – before the new administration starts making changes that may affect you and your family. Contact an experienced, licensed attorney to find out what YOU can do to help your situation. If you would like our assistance, contact our office today at 210-932-3600 to set up a consultation.