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The American Dream Cut Short

Julie Heng, Staff Writer

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In 2016, Bryan Carmona, a sophomore at Huron High School, first talked to his lawyer about applying for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. At the time, he was 16 years old. After filing papers proving he had lived in the United States for over 10 years and getting his application approved, it took six months before he could receive his I.D. and Social Security information.

DACA, introduced under the Obama administration, was an immigration policy that allowed alien minors (those born after June 1981 who were brought or came illegally to the U.S. as children under the age of 15) the temporary right to work and study. The policy gave those illegal minors a renewable period of deferred action deportation, which could eventually lead to legal U.S. residency or citizenship.

In September, President Donald Trump federally rescinded DACA, under the assertion that American jobs were being lost to illegal immigrants.

“I just think it’s unfair because Dreamers (participants in the DACA program) have nothing to be blamed for,” Carmona said. “We didn’t do anything.”

Although certain applicants can renew their applications that expire in October, many may lose their permission to stay in the country legally. This action immediately places 800,000 minors brought to the U.S. under threat of deportation, including students like Bryan Carmona at Huron.

“I find it wrong because it’s not okay [for them] to be sent back to their country,” said principal Marcus Edmonson. “I just want to know why [Trump] is doing this.”

As of right now, the future of “Dreamers” is up in the air.

Recently, President Trump has extended the deadline for immigrants to be protected under DACA. If by some unknown point after March 5th Congress hasn’t acted, the protection for these people will expire. The deadline for the renewal of application ended earlier this month. Trump has introduced several projects that are immigrant-focused, such as the border wall, and lessening federal grants for sanctuary cities.

There is a push by Democrats for support by Republicans to grant Dreamers full legal status. So far, all the House Democrats and one Republican have showed their support for the measure. Many remain skeptical that this legislation will pass.

“It is horrific that they cancelled DACA because they think we’re criminals,” said Carmona.

Now, no longer protected by the DACA program, he can no longer be sure whether or not he will lose everything he has.

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