What is Daca and who are the Dreamers?
With Donald Trump poised to scrap the Obama-era program for children brought to the US illegally, we explain everything you need to know about it
Donald Trump has said he will announce on Tuesday whether he is scrapping a program giving work permits to people who were brought to the US illegally as children. Reports suggest he is planning to scrap Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) but will give Congress up to six months to find a legislative alternative. But what is Daca, who are the people affected (known as Dreamers), and what will happen to them?
What is Daca?
Daca is a federal government program created in 2012 under Barack Obama to allow people brought to the US illegally as children the temporary right to live, study and work legally in America. Those applying are vetted for any criminal history or threat to national security and must be a student or have completed school or military service. If they pass vetting, action to deport them is deferred for two years, with a chance to renew, and they become eligible for basics like a driving license, college enrollment or a work permit.
Who are the Dreamers?
Those protected under Daca are known as Dreamers and 787,580 have been granted approval. To apply they must have been younger than 31 on 15 June 2012, when the program began, and undocumented, lacking legal immigration status. They must have arrived in the US before turning 16 and lived there continuously since June 2007. Most Dreamers are from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and the largest numbers live in California, Texas, Florida and New York.
Why are they called Dreamers?
The Daca program was a compromise devised by the Obama administration after Congress failed to pass the so-called Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (Dream) Act, which would have offered those who had arrived illegally as children the chance of permanent legal residency. The bipartisan act was first introduced in 2001 and has repeatedly failed to pass.