North Hennepin Prepares for DACA Implications
The latest developments on DACA could have an impact here in the northwest metro. This week the U S. Supreme Court began considering the Trump Administration’s efforts to end DACA. The acronym stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA is the Obama-era program that protected young undocumented immigrants from deportation. What the high court decides will have implications here in Minnesota. Some businesses and higher learning institutions worry they will lose highly skilled workers or students if the program goes away.
“Really for us, it’s a major deal,” said North Hennepin Community College Vice President of Student Success Julio Vargas-Essex. “Not just for our institution but the system as a whole. So we’re part of 37 colleges and universities and all of us are committed to serving the student population.”
Thousands on DACA program
DACA protects roughly 700 thousand young people in the United States. The program grants them two-year work permits and lets them live in the country without fear of being deported.
In 2017, the Trump Administration said it would phase out DACA, and no longer accept new applications. Officials at North Hennepin Community College are counseling students who are DACA recipients and anxious about their future.
“We’re communicating with students, reassuring them that no decisions have been made yet. Working closely with families, addressing any concerns, having one on one conversations. But really trying to keep the status quo, that semblance of calm as much as we can,” explained Vargas-Essex.
The U.S.Supreme Court will likely issue its decision by the end of June 2020, but it could come as early as January.