DACA workshops at BC

Recently, yet another change has been made to the U.S. governmental system under President Trump and his administration. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – better known as DACA – is beginning its process of fading its participants out. Applications into the program are no longer being accepted and people participating in DACA, who are referred to as “Dreamers,” have six months to get their lives in order before DACA offers them no more protection in America.
Unless Congress can come up with a different solution for the Dreamers in the six months that Trump gave them, 800,000 minors could potentially get sent back to countries they haven’t seen since they were young children, if they’ve been to these countries at all.
“It is my hope that the House and Senate, with the president’s leadership, will be able to find consensus on a permanent legislative solution that includes ensuring that those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute as a valued part of this great country,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan.
DACA was established in 2012 under former President Barack Obama and its purpose was to prevent minors who were also illegal immigrants from immediate deportation so that they could temporarily learn, live and work in America.
Obama used an executive order to create DACA and temporarily halted deportation. However, because it was an executive order that created DACA, that means that it could easily be taken away, which is what Trump did last week.
An estimated 350,000 of the country’s nearly 800,000 DACA recipients are currently enrolled in school, most at colleges or universities, according to a 46-state survey this year by the advocacy group Center for American Progress. Under the program, they were protected from deportation and allowed to legally work in the United States with two-year permits.
When Trump and his administration decided to begin the process of phasing out DACA they were met with an uproar of protests from people – big, little, rich, poor, and famous – including protest from those at Bellevue College.
Bellevue College has a wide variety of students from all over the world. Some are either Dreamers themselves or know Dreamers personally. In response to this alarming news, Steve Miller, Bellevue College Trustee, hosted three DACA workshops where he educated students on what exactly was going on, what it meant for Dreamers, family members, and other Americans, and what could be done in response.
“I used to be the chair of the Immigration Bar Association of the state of Washington in 2006 and 2007. I made 10 trips to D.C. during that year and a half period and came back utterly depressed,” said Miller. “It’s the politics as opposed to the substance.”