daily californian logo

BERKELEY'S NEWS • FEBRUARY 03, 2023

Ring in the New Year with our 2023 New Year's Special Issue!

Trump's DACA program decision sparks uncertainty

article image

RACHAEL GARNER | SENIOR STAFF

A protester chants in support of UC Berkeley's undocumented students from a balcony of UC Berkeley's Sproul Hall on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 in Berkeley, Calif. (Rachael Garner/Senior Staff)

SUPPORT OUR NONPROFIT NEWSROOM

We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.

JUNE 20, 2017

The Trump Administration announced Thursday it will maintain the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, creating an air of uncertainty for some members of the undocumented community.

DACA is a federal program which protects eligible immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation. This announcement is a reversal of President Trump’s declared intentions to end DACA during his presidential campaign.

Meng So, director of the campus’s Undocumented Student Program, or USP, said the Trump administration’s announcement was not a major victory, calling the decision “fool’s gold.” So added that Trump has already promised during his presidential campaign to enforce “mass deportation” of undocumented immigrants and to build a southern border wall.

“This announcement didn’t do much for us — students are still worried (and) still scared,” So said. “The larger fight and the larger (desired) outcome is comprehensive immigration reform.”

DACA is a discretionary program that can be discontinued under the Trump administration at any time, according to USP’s website. The website warns prospective applicants for DACA with recent criminal histories not to apply as it may make them “a priority for removal” and “provide the government with the information” for potential deportation proceedings.

Lily Woo, a refugee rights advocate for the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant and a paralegal for the EBSC DACA program, said she and her supervisors believe eligible immigrants should continue to apply for DACA, but stressed caution at the program’s uncertainty.

“Until (Trump) says otherwise, (DACA is) still intact, but he’s been so anti-immigrant and xenophobic, (so there is) a lot of uncertainty,” Woo said.

UC President Janet Napolitano said in a statement released by her office Friday she welcomed the reports of the Trump administration’s decision to maintain DACA, adding that “this common sense approach to immigration enforcement” will allow DACA recipients to “continue to contribute their talents and vision to the United States.”

Woo expressed skepticism toward Napolitano’s statement on DACA, citing Napolitano’s previous experience as the Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security.

“I‘m not really trusting of the UC system,” Woo said. “Any sort of statements of support (Napolitano) makes to the undocumented people is just lip service.”

Some noted that DACA has also been critiqued by the undocumented community because not all undocumented persons are eligible to qualify for DACA.

University of California Student Association Board member Clara Maya said DACA has been criticized for helping only “a small portion” of undocumented persons and advocates have argued for the expansion of DACA to protect more people.

So added that DACA can create “a narrative of who’s deserving and who’s not deserving” of protection.

Woo said she has been covered under DACA since 2012 and the program has provided her “a lot of relief,” but has mixed feelings about DACA.

“Our feelings on DACA, in general, has been that it’s very beneficial,” Woo said,(However), it only helps a certain few. The narrative of DACA (is that DACA) comes to this community of undocumented students who deserve the chance to succeed in our country. But then this creates this separation between good immigrants and bad immigrants.”

Contact Robin Hyun at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @robinnhyun.
LAST UPDATED

JUNE 30, 2017


Related Articles

featured article
California public college and university system officials sent a letter to Donald Trump on Tuesday asking the president-elect to support the pursuit of higher education among undocumented immigrants and to protect them from deportation despite his pledges to remove millions of undocumented immigrants from the country after taking office.
California public college and university system officials sent a letter to Donald Trump on Tuesday asking the president-elect to support the pursuit of higher education among undocumented immigrants and to protect them from deportation despite his pledges to remove millions of undocumented immigrants from the country after taking office.
featured article
featured article
The campus Latina/o Faculty Association sent a letter Monday to Chancellor Nicholas Dirks calling for the administration to better support undocumented students in the aftermath of the presidential election.
The campus Latina/o Faculty Association sent a letter Monday to Chancellor Nicholas Dirks calling for the administration to better support undocumented students in the aftermath of the presidential election.
featured article
featured article
In line with numerous campus efforts to promote inclusivity in wake of Donald Trump’s presidential victory, UC Berkeley and other UC campuses joined colleges across the country in signing a statement supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
In line with numerous campus efforts to promote inclusivity in wake of Donald Trump’s presidential victory, UC Berkeley and other UC campuses joined colleges across the country in signing a statement supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
featured article