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FGCU President Mike Martin responds to DACA decision

FGCU President Mike Martin responds to DACA decision
(EN Photo / Nathan Pigott)

President Mike Martin expressed his concern with the overturning of DACA in an email sent out to FGCU students on Wednesday, Sept. 6.

President Martin’s response comes shortly after President Donald Trump’s decision to overturn DACA, an immigration policy set forth by President Barack Obama.

“At FGCU, we join colleagues from across the country in expressing our disappointment in the decision to ‘phase out’ the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA),” Martin said. “We urge Congress to act with dispatch to make DACA fully legal and fully implementable. We believe those affected by DACA, some of our students among them, are American in every important way. We stand ready to assist them during this time of uncertainty.”

The Obama administration established the DACA program in 2012 through an executive order known as the DREAM Act. The program granted amnesty from deportation to those who came to the US illegally as a minor, and it also granted working permits.

Prerequisites were set in place for the application process. For example, applicants could not have a criminal history and they had to have immigrated to the US before turning 16. Additionally, applicants must have lived in the US since June 15, 2007.

The program received criticism from both sides of the political spectrum, and on June 10, ten state attorney generals wrote to Trump urging him to abolish DACA by Sept 5. or legal action would be taken.

On Tuesday, Sept. 5, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the retraction of DACA at the Justice Department. Sessions expressed how the program would not likely be successful in a court challenge.

“The Department of Justice cannot defend this overreach,” Sessions said. “There is nothing compassionate about the failure to enforce immigration laws. Enforcing the law saves lives, protects communities and taxpayers, and prevents human suffering. Failure to enforce the laws in the past has put our nation at risk of crime, violence and even terrorism. The compassionate thing is to end the lawlessness, (and) enforce our laws.”

While the program has been overturned, the Trump administration gave Congress a six-month ultimatum to create a solution.

On Tuesday, Trump released a Tweet stating he would revisit DACA if Congress couldn’t create a solution.

Despite the rescind, the Trump administration announced that DACA recipients with permits set to expire before March 5, 2018 are eligible to apply for a two-year renewal.

It was also announced that while new applications to the program would not be accepted, DACA applications received by Tuesday, Sept. 5 would be processed.

Rescinding DACA did not come without opposition. In response to the decision, about 16 democratic attorney generals have sued Trump to preserve the program.

While DACA’s future remains uncertain, recipients could face deportation if the program is dismantled.

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