MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The Trump administration is ending an Obama-era program that protects immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
The President put a six-month time limit on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, Tuesday.
Immigration & Refugee Case Manager at Catholic Charities West Virginia Britany Young said it creates uncertainty for the roughly 150 “Dreamers”, or people protected by DACA, in West Virginia.
“Not an insignificant number given that the fact that these are generally kids in college and have been here for a while,” Young told WV MetroNews affiliate WEPM.
There are approximately 800,000 “Dreamers” nationwide.
Young said the program was designed to maximize resources when it comes to tamping down on illegal immigration.
“This is a group that we’re not going to spend our time going after for immigration enforcement purposes.”
Instead, Young said participants are essentially put into a special category and provided with a work permit.
She said that it is not a backdoor to legal status for participants.
“You don’t get DACA and then be able to apply for a green card or citizenship,” Young said.
“You still have to have an independent basis to pursue any type of independent status.”
Young said she understands there is some abuse but believes it is limited.
She said most of her clients want to do the right thing.
“They’ll pay taxes every year. They’re trying to make sure their kids get the best education they can get, and just really trying to live the best lives that they can and contribute to a country that they really desperately want to be a part of.”
President Trump said yesterday the six month lead time will allow Congress take action.
He said he will revisit the matter if Congress fails to do its job.