Donald Trump made plenty of promises throughout the presidential campaign, and one of his most controversial vows was to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. "We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties, in which he defied federal law and the constitution to give amnesty to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants," Trump said.
Now, roughly five months into his presidency, Trump has made a decision about the policy — which has provided relief of deportation to 750,000 undocumented immigrant children, allowing them to remain in the US to study or work — but it's only temporary.
On June 15, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced they would preserve the Obama-era program.
The memorandum read, "The June 15, 2012, memorandum that created the DACA program will remain in effect."
An additional fact sheet also confirmed DACA recipients "will be eligible to seek a two-year extension upon their expiration" and their work permits "will not be terminated prior to their current expiration dates."
However, the directive also noted the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) would be rescinded.
While DAPA may have not survived, many were excited to hear the news about the state of DACA. However, a Trump spokesperson followed up the next day with a statement that has left many feeling uncertain about what the future holds.
"There has been no final determination made about the DACA program, which the president has stressed needs to be handled with compassion and with heart. John F. Kelly, the secretary of Homeland Security has noted that Congress is the only entity that can provide a long-term solution to this issue,” Jonathan Hoffman, the assistant secretary for public affairs at DHS, told The New York Times.
After Hoffman's statement was released, people vocalized their anger with the administration's unreliability and fickleness.
Lorella Praeli, the director of immigration policy and campaigns at the American Civil Liberties Union, told Time, "The only certainty in Trump’s America is uncertainty – and no memorandum changes that."
Cecilia Muñoz, Obama's former director of the White House’s domestic policy council, told The New York Times, "It is unfortunate that their status is still temporary, and their peace of mind not complete."
DREAMers will remain in this gray area until Trump makes a concrete decision about the program's long-term existence.
His bold stance on the matter has lead many people that benefited from DACA to address the positive and life-changing impact it has had for them.
Only time will tell if undocumented immigrant youths will be able to continue to achieve their American Dream through DACA.