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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals under fire again

For many immigrant families throughout the country, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is an essential part of keeping their children safe and furthering educational and vocational opportunities. Under the program, undocumented immigrants under the age of 30 who came to America as children can apply for deportation deferrals every two years, provided that they continue to meet the requirements to qualify for the deferrals.

Although the program has been the center of some controversy since it was implemented in 2012 under the Obama administration, it has come directly under fire since President Trump took office in January of 2017. A number of DACA recipients were taken into custody by federal agents in March, although they were eventually released without deportation.

Tensions surrounding the program rose to a new level in late August of this year when Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a strongly worded letter to the White House, doubling down on his opposition to the program. According to the letter, Paxton informed President Trump that he would bring legal action against the administration if Trump does not phase out the DACA program by Sept. 5. This comes mere weeks after Trump assured the public that DACA was safe for the time being.

While it remains to be seen how the Trump administration responds to this brinksmanship, this conflict serves to underline threats to the legal protections undocumented immigrants currently enjoy. If you or someone you love is an immigrant with concerns about protecting your rights and your family's place here in America, you may have more options than you think. An experienced attorney can review the specifics of your circumstances and help you understand how to protect the ones you love in this difficult season.

Source: CNN, "Trump weighing DACA phase-out," Laura Jarrett and Jim Acosta, Aug. 25, 2017

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