Amnesty for DACA Youth

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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, is an executive order passed by President Obama as a means of protecting certain undocumented immigrants. DACA provides relief to eligible immigrant youth who were brought into the United States by parents without documentation. DACA does not offer a path to citizenship or guarantee permanent residency, it merely protects its constituents from deportation and grants them a work permit. DACA expires every two years and is subject to renewal, until now. Since DACA is an executive order, it is set in place for as long as the President who enacted it is in office. President-Elect Donald Trump and his Administration have vowed to crack down on immigration laws and will most likely repeal DACA.

The requirements for DACA are as follows:

-You were under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012;
-You first came to the United States before your 16th birthday;
-You have lived continuously in the United States from June 15, 2007 until the present;
-You were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 and at the time you apply;
-You came to the United States without documents before June 15, 2012, or your lawful status expired as of June 15, 2012;
-You are currently studying, or you graduated from high school or earned a certificate of completion of high school or GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or military (technical and trade school completion also qualifies); and
-You have NOT been convicted of a felony, certain significant misdemeanors (including a single DUI), or three or more misdemeanors of any kind. Consult with an attorney about ANY contact you have had with law enforcement or immigration authorities.

DACA constituents, apart from their immigration status, adhere to these requirements and are, therefore, law-abiding, model residents.

For so long, undocumented youth have been stigmatized within their communities insofar that they have been forced to live in silence. With the introduction of DACA, many kids were able to come out from the shadows and further assimilate to American culture, as they were finally permitted to work and get drivers licenses.

President Obama is urging the President-Elect to reconsider overturning his executive order, but, we believe the opportunity to repeal DACA should not be left in the hands of a Trump Administration. We believe that this is a risk not worth taking. We believe that that the Trump Administration will not look out for the best interests of DACA youth. We believe that DACA youth should not be stripped of their dignity, as many have already made themselves visible to their communities and are vulnerable. We believe that President Obama should take action.

We are calling for President Obama to grant Amnesty to DACA youth. This requires no Congressional interaction and is a sole enumerated power vested in the President of the United States.



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