What is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival deal and why is Donald Trump threatening to kill it?

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Washington | Updated: April 02, 2018 5:37 PM

DACA programme was announced by Barack Obama in 2012. DACA refers to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival and provides a platform to legalise the status of undocumented immigrants, commonly referred as 'Dreamers'.

Mexico, DACA deal, United States, Donald TrumpUS President Donald Trump to scrap DACA

First, it was Obamacare and now it is DACA, an Obama-era pragramme that US President Donald Trump has announced will stand invalid. DACA refers to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival and provides a platform to legalise the status of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants, commonly referred as ‘Dreamers’, brought to the US as children. Trump announced his threat in a tweet on Sunday.

Trump had last year called for scrapping the DACA, but gave the lawmakers a six-month timeframe to come up with a permanent solution. Since the Congress has been unable to reach any consensus, the DACA remained in place until now. The legal hurdles made it tough for the government and stalled the President’s call.

Trump blamed the Democrats and the Mexican for an increasingly dangerous flow of illegal immigrants in the US. He called on the Congress to reach a deal to protect dreamers from deportation for funding to build a wall at the Mexico border. In his tweet, Trump also threatened to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) if Mexico doesn’t stop people and drugs from flowing into the US from Central America.

Here are key points about the DACA deal:

1. DACA was an Obama administration immigration program that shielded Dreamers from deportation. The policy was announced by then President Barack Obama in June 2012.

2. Through this deal, the administration aimed at granting legal status to ‘Dreamers’ students who had been raised largely in the US after being brought to the country by their parents illegally.

3. According to reports, about 65,000 illegal immigrant students graduated from US High Schools yearly. A majority of the Dreamers in the US are from Mexico.

4. The policy allowed certain immigrants to avoid deportation and obtain work permits for a period of two years. The permit was renewable, subject to their behaviour.

5. The legal status was granted to illegal immigrants after meeting certain parameters. To apply, an immigrant must be younger than the age of 31-year on June 15, 2012; must have come to the US when he/she was younger 16; and lived in the US since 2007. According to the Pew Research data, upto 17 lakh immigrants were eligible at that time. Also, according to DACA norms, an immigrant must pay a fee every two-year and undergo an extensive background check in order escape deportation. Illegal immigrants with criminal background were not eligible to apply.

DACA was set up by an executive action during the Obama regime.

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