The unexpected election of Donald Trump shocked many Americans as well as those in the immigrant community. Those most vulnerable – unauthorized non-citizens who were brought to the U.S. as children – fear a rollback of President Obama’s DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. While it is completely understandable to be anxious, pessimistic and worried about the new administration’s prospective moves on immigration, there is some basis for a degree of optimism.
In an interview with Time magazine, Trump signaled a willingness to work with the approximate 741,000 undocumented foreign nationals currently receiving benefits under the DACA program: “We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud…They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.” Although this is far from a promise, it is cause for some level of hope.
Moreover, four U.S. Senators, two Democrats and two Republicans, have introduced the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act. If passed, the BRIDGE Act would keep in place through legislation the benefits currently provided through DACA.
Thus between Trump’s apparent softening of his stance on DACA and bi-partisan introduction of the BRIDGE Act in the U.S. Senate, there is some cause for optimism.
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