By: Blake Stewart
The debate to pass a bill that would give nearly 800,000 DACA recipients a shot at legal status is still at a stalemate between both parties of Congress.
Over the weekend, Congress forced a government shutdown, that was temporarily opened back up on Tuesday.
The shutdown was in part, due to lawmaker’s failure to agree on a solution for DACA recipients, causing them to become intertwined in budget negotiations with the federal government in exchange for Trump’s promised border wall and crackdown on illegal immigration.
One of President Donald Trump’s campaign promises was to end the Obama-era executive order Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA. The program was created in 2012 as a way to allow young people brought to the United States as children without documentation to be granted amnesty from deportation, apply for work permits, get driver’s license and attend college.
Since the executive action went into effect, an estimated 800,000 people were protected under the order. More than 130 students at Trevecca and around 8,300 Tennesseans have DACA status.
In September, the Trump administration announced that the White House would end (DACA) in six months causing mass protests across the nation and creating turmoil throughout Congress.
“This has been the most heartbreaking political debate that I have witnessed in my lifetime,” said Broderick Thomas, coordinator of student engagement and diversity.
President Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday night, blasting Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer saying, “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer fully understands, especially after his humiliating defeat, that if there is no Wall, there is no DACA.”
President Trump posted on Twitter on Wednesday that he is open to a path to citizenship after 10 to 12 years for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
With the government shutdown over, Dreamers are still uncertain of their future.
“My DACA expires in 3 month’s so it’s really disappointing,” said Maria Robles, sophomore social justice major. “I’m almost at the point of giving up.”
Organizations like The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, of which Trevecca is a member, are taking a stance on the matter and advocating for a way for college students to have a path to citizenship.
“The CCCU is engaged on a variety of fronts to help promote a bipartisan, permanent legislative solution,” Greta Hays, director of communications and public affairs for the CCCU wrote in an e-mail. “We have been meeting and communicating with members of Congress alongside other groups like the Evangelical Immigration Table and National Immigration Forum to make sure that immigration remains a top priority.”