In just under two weeks, the DACA program — which protects children of immigrants who arrived in America illegally — will be dismantled. At least that’s the idea President Donald Trump had in mind when he gave Congress and arbitrary timeline to come up with a legislative solution for immigrant children raised in America.
But Congress has run into a series of issues in trying to craft a bipartisan plan, including a president who vacillates on what he wants out of an immigration overhaul, pushback from both extremes of the political spectrum, and a narrowing window of time to come up with a permanent solution.
“Right now, the mood is quite dejected among people who are looking to secure a permanent solution for DACA recipients and the larger group of DREAMers,” says DeBonis.
As the back-and-forth in Washington over immigration continues to heat up, thousands of people here in Southeast Michigan watch not knowing what their future holds. Since President Trump took office, many dozens of immigrants living in and around Detroit have been deported or face deportation as we speak. Many more have DACA protections and don’t know if that program will continue in just a couple weeks time.
Henderson speaks with Detroit Immigration Task Force Co-Chair Sophia Chue about how people here are reacting to these talks. She says immigrants are fearful in this environment.
“Especially the ones of African descent and Hispanic descent, because it seems to be targeting them more,” says Chue. “ICE is picking them up. A lot of times we don’t even understand what’s going on until we get a call from a family member saying that their child has been picked up. So, at that point, we’re looking back into the situation to try and figure it out.”
Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.