DACA isn’t perfect. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that came out of President Barack Obama’s 2012 executive order has its shortcomings – including pushing the good immigrant narrative, demonizing parents, and not guaranteeing permanent status. There’s also mixed feelings about the program because the Obama administration has deported more immigrants than any other. But for many young people brought to the United States at a young age, it’s shielded them from deportation and allowed them to come out of the shadows. DACA also gave them the chance to work and attend college.
With Donald Trump taking office in two months, DACA recipients fear he’ll undo Obama’s executive order. Trump could unilaterally move to end DACA with a simple memo. Washington University of Law professor emeritus Stephen Legomsky explains that the program came from an executive memorandum created by Obama’s secretary of Homeland security. All Trump would have to do is rescind the memo or simply issue a new one, according to USA Today.
Though Legomsky predicts Trump won’t target DACA recipients, the president-elect spent a chunk of his campaign maligning immigrant communities and many are fearful that their lives will be upended.
Ahead of the beginning of his administration, DACA recipients have taken to social media to share what the program has allowed them to accomplish in the last four years. Here’s how 10 people’s lives have transformed #WithDACA: