Is this the beginning of the end for DACA?



Carlos Esteban, 31, of Woodbridge, Virginia, a nursing student and recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, rallies with others in support of DACA outside of the White House Tuesday. Photo by Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press.

James Rudolph, Opinions Editor

The past week has shown the impending doom that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program faces. On Twitter President Donald Trump went on a tirade on immigration, specifically calling for an end to the DACA program, while blaming Democrats for delaying a new plan to be made.

Despite Trump ending the program on Sept. 7, federal courts have denied Trump from rescinding the program. However, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that DACA recipients are ineligible to receive in-state tuition to Arizona colleges, a huge blow to over 2,000 recipients of the DACA program in Arizona public colleges. Congress, already past the original deadline of March 5, faces immense pressure to make a decision about DACA.

The DACA program was put into place by former President Barack Obama in 2012 under executive orders. The immigration policy protected people who entered the country illegally as children by offering a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility to obtain a work permit in the United States. Under this program over 800,000 children were protected and earned work visas. Now that President Trump has ended the program, Congress will decide their fate.

Trump attacked Democrats and DACA on April 1, by tweeting, “Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws like Catch and Release. Getting more dangerous. ‘Caravans’ coming. Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws NOW. NO MORE DACA DEAL!”

He attacked NAFTA in his next tweet, but he mentioned DACA again when his following tweet read, “These big flows of people are all trying to take advantage of DACA. They want in on the act!”

The next day, in another tweet, he declared, “DACA is dead because the Democrats didn’t care or act, and now everyone wants to get onto the DACA bandwagon…No longer works. Must build Wall and secure our borders with proper Border legislation. Democrats want No Borders, hence drugs and crime!”

Congress, returning from a two-week recess, has made no efforts in resolving the issue, or establishing a clear agenda. Most experts believe that the federal courts will eventually allow Trump to rescind the program. This will allow legal action to be placed on the DACA recipients, who face losing their jobs and deportation.

Meanwhile, one state passed a low that serves as a huge setback for the state’s DACA recipients. The 7-0 ruling in the Arizona Supreme Court on Monday ended in-state tuition for DACA recipients. This triples the rates for some of these schools, like Arizona State University, which offers in-state tuition at $10, 792, but out-of-state at $27,371.

The Associated Press estimated that four-year universities will charge DACA students that graduated from high schools in Arizona 150 percent of the in-state tuition. DACA students in Arizona are also ineligible for federal or state financial aid. This follows the state of Missouri’s move to continue its ban on in-state tuition for DACA recipients in a 104-37 vote decision.

Arizona and Missouri have joined Georgia and Indiana in prohibiting in-state tuition for DACA recipients, while Alabama and South Carolina banned them from attending any public postsecondary institution.

While the country awaits Congress to make an official decision, the DACA program’s collapse is apparent. Despite the effort of the federal courts, states’ legislative decisions are already removing aid that these DACA recipients need.

With Democratic influence already weak as it is, what will be the future of the DACA program and the people who relied on this program?