On September 5, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Sessions announced that as of March 5, 2018, the Trump Administration would formally terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or “DACA” program which President Obama had initiated and the NAACP supported in June of 2012. The program allows some individuals who entered the country without documentation as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit. As of 2017, approximately 800,000 individuals—referred to as “DREAMers”, named for legislation known as the DREAM Act—were enrolled in the program created by DACA.
In order to qualify for the program immigrants had to be younger than 31 on June 15, 2012, must have come to the U.S. when they were younger than 16, must have lived in the U.S. since 2007, and may not have felonies or serious misdemeanors on their records. The policy further stipulated that the protections offered by DACA were renewable upon good behavior. Soon after the program was announced in 2012, it was estimated that as many as 1.7 million people already living in the U.S. might qualify. DREAMers originate from many parts of the world including Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central, North, and South America, the Middle East, and Europe, and currently live in every state in our nation.
For a formal list of the countries of origin of these young people, as well as for additional information on the situation and advice on how you can advocate in support of this crucial federal legislation, please see the attached Action Alert.