The Struggle for DREAMers in Utah - Explore DACA2018-04-27
On Tuesday, April 24, 2018, a third federal judge ruled against the Trump administration’s push to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). U.S. District Judge John Bates called the administration’s attempts to end DACA “arbitrary,” “virtually unexplained,” and “unlawful.” He put a hold on the decision, allowing the Department of Homeland Security 90 days to give better reasoning to cancel the program or it would be fully reinstated.
Dr. Stephen Allen, associate provost of International Affairs at Southern Utah University and expert on American immigration policy, sees the struggle for “DREAMers” in Utah and across the nation.
“In March, the Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to DACA,” said Dr. Allen. “That decision, along with the April 24 federal court ruling, has taken pressure off of Congress to act on the issue. The result is a great deal of uncertainty for DREAMers, families, and employers.”
Originally enacted by President Obama, DACA is an immigration policy that shields undocumented immigrants that were brought to the United States as children. The youth apply to obtain a renewable two-year deferred action from deportation and to be eligible for a work permit. DACA has helped hundreds of thousands obtain driver’s licenses, social security numbers and attend school. Steps to eliminate DACA were initiated by the Trump administration in late 2017, but previous federal rulings have stalled the efforts.
“Rescinding DACA would have a tremendous impact on Utah,” said Dr. Allen. “The program has allowed nearly 10,000 young people in Utah to come forward and pass background checks and live legally in the United States. There is strong evidence that the majority of these young people are productive citizens who are gainfully employed and/or enrolled in school. According to the non-profit and non-partisan organization Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ), ending DACA would cost Utah alone nearly $476.5 million in annual GDP losses.”
Dr. Allen believes that in general, Utahan’s have a strong commitment to keeping families together.
“The United States is the only country most DREAMers have known. Deporting nearly 700,000 individuals would result in separation from families and losing the ability to legally work in the United States.”
Dr. Allen specializes in international enrollment and admissions, developing global partnerships, and international education. He is familiar with the media and available for an interview.