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» BREAKING NEWS, Featured » THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY SAYS 6,000 JAMAICAN “DREAMERS” ARE AFFECTED BY TRUMP’S REVERSAL OF THE DACA PROGRAM!

THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY SAYS 6,000 JAMAICAN “DREAMERS” ARE AFFECTED BY TRUMP’S REVERSAL OF THE DACA PROGRAM!

 Immigration activists protest the Donald Trump Administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on September 6 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo: AFP) —

THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade says 6,000 Jamaicans will be affected by the Donald Trump Administration’s decision to discontinue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) programme in the United States.

The “dreamers” policy, implemented by former US President Barack Obama, allows undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as minors to remain in that country.

The plan by the US Government is to cease considering new applications for legal status dated after September 5 and allow DACA beneficiaries whose permits expire before March 5, 2018 to apply for a two-year renewal. These people would have to apply by October 5. The US Justice Department said Congress has six months in which it could possibly save the program.

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

“It is therefore our sincere hope that the US Congress will be able to reach a timely consensus on this matter, which will afford these young people the opportunity to remain legally in the United States, the country they have come to call home for many years and in which they wish to apply their acquired skills,” the foreign affairs ministry said yesterday.

Portfolio Minister Senator Kamina Johnson Smith advised that the ministry, through its embassy in Washington DC, has been actively monitoring the developments relating to DACA.

She explained that, “The Embassy has been using diplomatic channels to sensitize persons who are part of the decision-making process of the benefits of the program to the young people concerned on the one hand, and on the other hand, the potential adverse socio-economic implications of any decision taken to remove these young nationals.”

The ministry said that, through the embassy, it will continue its sensitization and advocacy on behalf of Jamaicans as it seeks a favorable outcome from the deliberations of the US Congress.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

An Obama executive order in 2012 provided temporary amnesty to minors who were either brought to the US as children or who remained after their visas expired, and allowed them to study and work. Recipients are able to request “consideration of deferred action” for up to two years, subject to renewal.

“Dreamers”, as this category of immigrants is termed, can seek DACA status if they were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012, or came to the US before turning 16 and lived there continuously since June 15, 2007.

President Trump had, on his campaign trail, promised to immediately terminate DACA, effectively removing the protection against immediate deportation that it provides for millions of undocumented immigrants.

The announcement that the policy would be scrapped after all has elicited widespread protests from activist groups and individuals who want the program to remain in place.

— By Alphea Saunders

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