President Trump this week signaled the end of the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals program or DACA. The policy offers relief to immigrants who came to the United States as children, a group often called Dreamers.
Roughly 800,000 immigrants have enrolled in DACA since President Obama implemented the policy in 2012. The program allows recipients to acquire driver’s licenses, enroll in college, and legally secure jobs.
This week on Noon Edition, our panelists discussed what President Trump’s decision could mean for the thousands of DACA recipients in Indiana and around the country.
Robert Hall is the founder of Grassroots Conservatives, a local conservative group in Bloomington. Hall says employment priority should be given to American citizens.
“The real Dreamers are these Americans between the ages of 15 and 36 that are because they’re unemployed,” Hall says. “We need to take care of our American citizens first.”
Christine Popp is an immigration attorney at Popp & Bullman in Bloomington. Popp says having DACA recipients is a benefit to the economy.
“When someone gets DACA benefits, they end up getting a better job, getting a better paying job, and then turning around and putting that money into supporting their family and supporting our economy,” Popp says.
William Palomo is the founder of UndocuHoosiers Bloomington, a student organization devoted to supporting undocumented people at Indiana University. Palomo says many DACA students he works with are high-achieving and often work part-time or full-time jobs to afford to go to college.
“As far as how they’re handling this decision, a lot of them are very resilient and really tough because they’ve had to be in order to make it this far,” Palomo says.
Robert Hall: Founder of Grassroots Conservatives, Bloomington
William Palomo: Founder and Fundraising Chair, UndocuHoosiers Bloomington
Christine Popp: Immigration Attorney, Popp and Bullman