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The Undocumented Face Uncertain Future

November 22, 2016
Plain English Version
Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Why do people come to America? It is the ideal nation. It offers health, education, jobs, and freedom.

Eleven million people who are here do not have the proper papers. They are the undocumented. About half of them came over the Mexican border. Many of the others stayed here after their visas expired.

President Obama did something. It was for youngsters who came here with their families. He said they could apply for a legal status. He said it would be renewable. It is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.

Signing up for DACA meant young people could go to school, get driver’s licenses and work. They could do these things and not worry about removal.  The youngsters called themselves ‘Dreamers.’ That was all good news.

About 750,000 young people are in the program. Most think of themselves as Americans. A young man said, “I have been here for 27 years. I am not going anywhere.”

Voters elected Donald Trump President of the United States. He takes office January 20, 2017.

Trump has said he would end DACA. No one knows what would happen if he did that. When they enrolled in DACA, youngsters had to follow rules. They gave information about themselves and their families to the program.  The government now knows a lot about the families. Some say it will make it easier for federal agents to round up the Dreamers and their families.

Supporters of the program are planning. The question is: Plan for what?

Trump might say the program will end by not renewing the DACA permits to stay, study and work. This would put Dreamers back where they were before DACA.

Last week, Mr. Obama appealed to Mr. Trump “to think long and hard” before ending the program.

If the worst happens, Trump could start mass deportations.

Most of the people who are Dreamers are Latino. The next few months are going to be stressful.

Source: The New York Times November 18, 2016

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