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Trump’s Immigration Plan Doesn’t Address DACA. What’s Going to Happen to Dreamers?

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Demonstrators gather on Pennsylvania Avenue in response to the Trump administration’s announcement that it would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on September 5th, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

Even before President Donald Trump stood in the Rose Garden and unveiled his administration’s new plan for immigration on Thursday, news outlets had reported that a major aspect of immigration policy would be absent from the announcement: the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that DACA was left out of the new plan “on purpose”: “Every single time we have put forward or anyone else has put forward any type of immigration plan and it’s included DACA, it’s failed. It’s a divisive thing,” Sanders told reporters on Thursday, according to the Washington Post

DACA, a legacy of the Obama administration, uses executive action to protect a group of immigrants—who arrived in the country as children—from deportation. After enrolling in the program, DACA recipients (known as Dreamers), gained the ability to work, attend school, and contribute to their communities, all without fear of arrest—until Trump announced an end to the program in September of 2017. 

A quick succession of court cases blocked Trump‘s attempt to axe DACA. Though the program no longer accepts new applicants, current recipients can still maintain and renew their status. 

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