President Trump will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows those who were brought to the U.S. by their parents to be eligible for work permits, according to Politico.
Trump says he will wait six months before enforcing his decision, which could allow Congress to take other action on immigration.
Approximately 800,000 undocumented people could be affected by the elimination of the Obama-era program.
In recent weeks, education organizations and district leaders have increased efforts to advocate in favor of maintaining the DACA program, saying that students are not responsible for being brought to the U.S. Just last week, members of Chiefs for Change, a network of state and district superintendents, addressed reporters to express why they think the Trump administration should continue the protections allowed under DACA. After Tuesday’s announcement, they followed up with another statement.
“As a bipartisan group of state and district education leaders, we are deeply troubled by the Trump Administration’s decision to cease protections for the law-abiding young people known as 'Dreamers,’” the statement said. District of Columbia State Superintendent of Education Hansuel Kang, a member of Chiefs for Change and herself an immigrant who didn’t know she was undocumented until age 16, said continuing DACA would be part of “common sense immigration reform.”
Other chiefs not part of the organization also made statements criticizing the president’s decision. “Our country made an honest deal with these students — study hard, earn your degree and you will get a fair chance to compete for college,” said California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, according to the Los Angeles Times. “We should keep deals, not break them.”
Some members of Congress are already pledging to give serious attention to reforming immigration laws over the next few months. In a statement issued Monday, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said he will be “working closely with my colleagues in Congress and with the administration to pass meaningful immigration reform that will secure our borders, provide a workable path forward for the Dreamer population, and ensure that employers have access to the high-skilled workers they need to succeed in our technology-driven economy.”
K-12 and college students aren’t the only ones who have benefitted from the DACA program. Many teachers are also among those who have avoided deportation because of DACA.