Daca Dreamers: US scraps young undocumented immigrants scheme

Activists pray at the wall between Mexico and US during a protest against the possibility of deportation of Dreamers in Playas de Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, 4 SeptemberImage copyright
AFP

Image caption

Activists prayed on the Mexican side of the US border for the Daca programme to be retained

An Obama-era scheme to protect young undocumented immigrants is to be scrapped, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) programme was introduced five years ago.

It guards some 800,000 so-called “Dreamers”, mostly from Latin American countries, against deportation, providing work and study permits.

But critics say it amounts to an amnesty for illegal immigrants.

  • Daca revoked – what you need to know

US President Donald Trump took a hard line on immigration while campaigning for office last year and said he planned to “immediately terminate” Daca if elected.

However, since then he has said he finds the subject “very, very tough”.

In a stinging attack on Daca, Mr Sessions described the policy introduced by President Barack Obama it as an “open-ended circumvention of immigration laws” and a “unilateral executive amnesty”.

“The nation must set a limit on how many immigrants we admit each year,” he said.

“We cannot admit everyone who would like to come here, it’s just that simple.”

What is Daca?

The programme protects young illegal immigrants in the US from deportation and provides temporary permits for work and study.

In order to qualify for Daca, applicants under the age of 30 submit personal information to the Department of Homeland Security.

Media captionWhere do America’s undocumented immigrants live?

They must go through an FBI background check and have a clean criminal background, and either be in school, recently graduated or have been honourably discharged from the military.

In exchange, the US government agrees to “defer” any action on their immigration status for a period of two years.

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