The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has allowed more than 750,000 young unauthorized immigrants to live and work in the United States without the threat of deportation, thanks to President Obama's 2012 executive order.
However, the future of the program under the Trump Administration is uncertain.
DACA applies to undocumented immigrants who entered the country before the age of 16 and meet certain requirements, including being enrolled in high school or having a high school degree or GED, as well as not having any serious criminal convictions.
DACA grants these individuals, a group sometimes called "Dreamers," a two-year work permit. The question is whether the Trump Administration will allow participants to remain in the program by accepting renewals -- or flat out cancelling the program.
Will President Trump 'work something out'?
While he was campaigning for the presidency, President-elect Trump said he would reverse all of the executive actions taken by President Obama, which includes the DACA program. However, Trump said recently that he will "work something out" with the Dreamers.
Adding to the anxiety felt by DACA beneficiaries is the fact that Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump's selection for attorney general, strongly opposes the DACA program as well as the proposal to offer undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship.
What Happens If DACA Is Cancelled?If President-elect Trump decides to undo President Obama's executive order creating DACA, the program could be cancelled immediately or slowly phased out.
A group of senators has already drafted legislation that would allow beneficiaries to remain working and living in the country for three years if this happens. However, there is no guarantee that the bill will pass a Republican-controlled Congress.
At this point, the future of DACA -- and the future of Dreamers -- is up in the air. Contact an experienced immigration lawyer if you have questions about how your immigration status could be affected by the incoming administration.