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Monday, September 4, 2017
Trump Promises to Eliminate DACA
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA, is an immigration policy created in 2012 under President Obama. Under the act, undocumented residents who arrived in the U.S. before age 16, can be granted a work permit and a two-year reprieve from deportation. One of President Trump's early campaign promises was to eliminate the program. Today he did just that. What's surprising about the move is not that Trump did it, but that he is facing opposition from so many different corners.

DACA's predecessor, the Dream Act (which failed to pass in the Senate) was legislation that attempted to provide amnesty to the thousands of children brought illegally into the U.S. by their parents. In 2015, it was estimated that more than 65,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools every year.

When Trump made the repeal of DACA a centerpiece of his agenda, the blowback was loud and swift. In November 2016, more than 600 university and college presidents across the country signed off on a letter calling for DACA's preservation. Four days ago, hundreds of the top CEO's and business leaders in the country, including Warren Buffet and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg issued a similar letter to the White House and Congress.

More than 800,000 undocumented workers are benefitting from DACA, meaning that a dismantling would likely wreak havoc on the U.S. and global economy. Even Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republican members of Congress oppose the repeal. Roughly 10,000 undocumented immigrants matriculate from U.S. universities each year. It is estimated that close to 2.1 million people may be currently eligible for DACA.

Many opponents of DACA, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, believe the program is an illegal overreach; some even claim it is being used as an unlawful pathway to permanent residency. Politics aside, its elimination would have palpable effects on the economy and educational institutions of America.

The White House is delaying the repeal of DACA for six months, during which time Congress-if they so choose-have the power to block the elimination of the program.

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