Two years ago, President Obama executed Deferred Action for Childhood Removals (DACA), which allowed hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children permission to remain in the country without fearing deportation. It was a major executive order and certainly helped expand his support amongst Latino voters just months before the 2012 presidential election.
With Congress unable to come together for any type of legislation regarding immigration before breaking for the summer earlier this month, it's been reported that Obama is considering "similar options" once again, perhaps expanding protections to as many as 5 to 8 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S. If he does so, you can expect Republicans in Congress to rage in opposition.
In fact, on the last day that the House of Representatives was in session, they passed a bill that would effectively kill DACA. "It sends a vitally important message that minors wanting to come here in the future will … have absolutely no opportunity to receive DACA benefits,” said Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte (R-Va.) during the debate on the House floor in support of the bill. The legislation was not voted on in the Senate.
The DACA program applies to any undocumented immigrant age 16 to 31 who came to the United States as a child, has either graduated from high school or is currently enrolled in school, and doesn't have a criminal record. The government essentially promises not to deport these youths and adults for two years and allows them to work legally in the United States. Although some analysts called it a mini-version of the DREAM Act which consistently has failed to pass in the Congress (despite more Republicans saying they now support it).
Back in June, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the renewal process for hundreds of thousands of young non-citizens who qualified for DACA, and the group Faith in Florida will be hosting an informational DACA Forum for renewal and initial applicants tomorrow night at the St. Clement Catholic Church in Plant City.
Here's the info:
What: Deferred Action (DACA) Forum
Who: Faith in Florida and Undocumented Immigrants
When: Thursday, August 14, 2014 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Where: St Clement Catholic Church - 1104 N Alexander St, Plant City, Fl 33563