It's hard to focus on the future when you are constantly looking over your shoulder, fearing deportation from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. If you are a Louisiana Dreamer, i.e., children and young adults who have been covered under the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, your life here in the United States hangs in the balance.
DREAMers future in Trump's hands
Because of the sweeping changes to immigration laws, it's vital to pay very close attention to the actions of this administration regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
On Sunday, the president issued his proposal on a deal regarding DACA. It contains a number of stringent conditions not likely to meet with congressional approval, which can potentially affect the viability of the deal.
Among the conditions of the proposal are stopping the stream of immigrant minors from Central America to the United States, ending grant money to sanctuary cities and a guarantee to fund the disputed wall along the Mexican border.
Bipartisan deal crumbles
Leading Democrats in Washington denounced Trump's demands, despite their hopes of cobbling together a deal with the president that will offer the Dreamers some protection. In September, Trump stated he will be phasing out the DACA program, potentially affecting nearly 690,000 young adult immigrants who are enrolled. Without congressional action, the Dreamers' permits to work will start to expire early next year.
It's worthwhile noting that the president also met with Rep. Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader, and Sen. Schumer, (D-N.Y.) the Senate Minority Leader, last month. This set off Republican fears that a deal was in the works to permit the Dreamers to attain full legal status with no guarantees of a secured border in exchange for their compliance.
That bipartisan deal appears to be on the back burner now, as an unnamed administration aide stated that President Trump was "not interested in granting a path to citizenship" which would save the DACA program.
Where it's headed next
The president's proposals — as stated by aides to the White House — are needed to preserve jobs for American citizens, as well as keeping the public safe from criminally-inclined immigrants.
President Trump has been quite mercurial about his position on this matter, so if your status is in jeopardy, it is advisable to seek legal counsel to remain protected under DACA.