ACE and 36 other higher education associations urged President Trump on Monday to preserve the five-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to work and study here legally for two-year renewable terms.
President Obama introduced DACA in 2012 after Congress failed to pass the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act, which would have offered similar protections. DACA status has been granted to nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants across the country.
“The high-achieving young people in DACA contribute in many ways to our nation,” the groups wrote. “Preserving their status while your administration and Congress work on a permanent solution is the humane way to respond to the situation these innocent young people are facing. Children brought to the United States at a young age did not have a choice in the matter. It remains in America’s best interest to enable them to use their knowledge, skills and energy to make the strongest possible contribution to our country.”
The Trump administration currently is weighing its options on DACA, and a decision may be imminent, The Washington Post first reported last week. A group of Republican state attorneys general in late June threatened to challenge the administration in court if it does not phase out the program by Sept. 5, which has spurred speculation that an announcement might be made soon.
According to CNN, the president is said to be considering continuing protections but preventing future applicants and possibly renewals of the two-year permits.