What is DACA and why might President Trump end it?

More than 780,000 DREAMers have been allowed to stay in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program created under President Obama. Many worry about their future under President Trump.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) currently protects nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants from deportation.

President Trump is expected to announce his decision on whether to continue the immigration program, established under the Obama administration, on Tuesday.

Politico reported on Sunday that Trump has already decided to end the program with a six-month delay, but that decision has not been officially announced yet.

Here's what you need to know about the program:

What is DACA? 

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, known as DACA, allows two-year stays for certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country before their 16th birthday who have attended school or joined the military and have not committed any serious crimes.

They receive a renewable two-year period of deportation protections and eligibility for a work permit. Some enrollees are currently on their third term. 

When was DACA created?

DACA was created in 2012 by the Obama administration after several failed attempts in Congress to pass a law to protect from deportation undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children.

While announcing the program during a speech in the Rose Garden, Obama said those DREAMers — undocumented immigrants brought to America as children — didn't make the decision to enter the U.S. illegally and shouldn't be punished as a result.

Are all DREAMers part of DACA?

Not all DREAMers became DACA recipients. There are a total of 1.9 million undocumented immigrants eligible to apply for the program, but many have not, according to the Migration Policy Institute. The federal government has approved 787,580 people for the program.

To apply for DACA, immigrants must have come to the United States before 2007. The immigrants were required to have been 15 or younger when they arrived and younger than 31 when DACA was created in 2012. They had to have a clean criminal record and be enrolled in high school or have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Why can DACA be taken away by the executive branch? 

The program was created through a memorandum from the Department of Homeland Security, which means it could be rescinded at any time without any input from Congress. That was always a concern of applicants, who knew their protections could be taken away by a future president and the personal information they provided could be used to arrest and deport them. 

Who is fighting for and against DACA?

Republican leaders from 10 states, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, gave President Trump a deadline of Sept. 5 to end DACA or they'd sue. They believe the program is an abuse of executive power, and feel that only Congress can provide such a broad "amnesty" to any group of undocumented immigrants. 

As rumors of DACA's demise floated in recent weeks, a variety of groups pleaded with the Trump administration to maintain the program. On Aug. 14, more than 100 law professors signed a letter to Trump insisting that DACA is perfectly legal. On Wednesday, a group of more than 1,850 governors, state attorneys general, faith leaders, police chiefs, sheriffs and civic leaders signed a statement urging Trump to keep the program. And on Thursday, hundreds of tech and business leaders from Amazon's Jeff Bezos to Google's Sundar Pichai sent a similar letter to Trump.

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