A federal court on Tuesday night blocked the Trump administration from terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) program that allowed 800,000 immigrants to work and go to school in the US without fear of deportation. Hours earlier, the president had a rare televised meeting with lawmakers about how to protect this population.
“This is a time for vigilance,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, which has filed a separate lawsuit against the Trump administration for cancelling Daca in September 2017.
Hincapie and other immigration advocates have warned that the legal situation for people who qualified for Daca is fluid. They also emphasized that despite the court’s order, there is no system in place to renew Daca status and that anyone offering the service is probably a scammer. “These next days and weeks are going to create a lot of confusion on the legal front,” said Hincapie.
Staisy Ngare, whose Daca status expires in June, told the Guardian she was optimistic about what comes next.
“I am not scared,” Ngare said. “I feel like good news is coming.”
The 24-year-old, who came to the US from Kenya when she was four, said she was buoyed by public support for people like her, known as Dreamers, and the practical difficulties of removing 800,000 people from the US. “Even though it’s taking a long time for them to agree to something I can see where they are headed towards,” she said.