Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017

Trump rescinds DACA, gives Congress six months to take action

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program constructed under the Obama Administration.

There are approximately 28,000 DACA recipients in Arizona.

DACA recipients, community members, and organizers gathered Tuesday at United Food and Commercial Workers Local 99 headquarters in central Phoenix to listen to the administration’s official announcement on DACA.

“I’m a little anxious,” said Francisco Luna, member of the non-profit group, Trans Queer Pueblo, and DACA holder since 2013. “What is my future going to look like? Do I put everything on hold?”

Sessions said there would be a wind-down process, where no new DACA applications would be accepted, to give Congress a chance to pass related legislation “should it so choose.” That period will last six months.

Earlier this year, an appeals court overturned in-state tuition for DACA students in Arizona.

In addition, DAPA, or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents was terminated.

In order to qualify for DACA status, one must be an undocumented immigrant who entered the country before the age of 16 – but couldn’t have been older than 30 when the program was implemented – must pass a background check and must have no criminal record. One must also either be in school currently, a high school graduate or G.E.D. equivalent or an honorably discharged military veteran.

The government has also required a renewal process every two years, with a $500 accompanying fee.

All hopefuls must complete an application on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ website, but applicants say it is not an easy process to navigate.