Power

The future of Obama’s youth immigration act is still uncertain under Trump

Trump said he would “show great heart” towards the act’s recipients, but his administration deported 43 undocumented youth in just three months.

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750K
The number of undocumented immigrants who currently live and work legally in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals act.
Power

The future of Obama’s youth immigration act is still uncertain under Trump

Trump said he would “show great heart” towards the act’s recipients, but his administration deported 43 undocumented youth in just three months.

In the five years since President Barack Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a temporary amnesty granted to undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before their 16th birthday, more than 750,000 undocumented immigrants have received work permits and deportation relief.

Trump called the program an “unconstitutional executive amnesty” on the campaign trail and promised he would “immediately terminate” it on his first day as president. In February, Trump walked back on his promise, saying he would "show great heart" in deciding its future.

But several high-profile cases of the act's recipients being detained and deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement have left undocumented youth concerned about their uncertain future.

In February, 24-year-old Daniel Ramirez was detained by ICE agents in Seattle and kept in ICE custody for 6 weeks. He has since been released but his deportation proceedings are ongoing. That same month, DACA beneficiary Juan Manuel Montes-Bojorquez was deported to Mexico “without so much as a piece of paper to explain why or how,” his attorney said.

DACA beneficiaries are still subject to deportation, but an average of just seven per month were deported during the Obama administration. The Los Angeles Times reports that 43 were deported in the first three months of Trump's presidency.

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