The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is an executive order announced by President Obama in 2012. DACA allows certain young people, often referred to as Dreamers, who came to the United States as children to qualify for protection from deportation proceedings and remain in the country. Young people who are approved for DACA receive a social security number to be able to obtain employment and in some states – including Tennessee – can get a driver’s license. DACA provides protection for two years, and individuals can reapply when close to their expiration date.
On Tuesday September 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump Administration will rescind the DACA program. (to learn more about what the end of DACA means visit: DACA page)
The end of the DACA program does not mean that students will no longer be able to apply or enroll in college. This does not change enrollment options (see question one).
Students may be most impacted by the loss of reprieve from deportation and the expiration of their work permit,. A students DACA and work permit will remain valid until the expiration date, but after that date a student will no longer have protected status or the legal right to work. After the expiration of their DACA, students will return to a status of being undocumented. This could potentially put them at risk of deportation. Additionally, once their work permits expire students cannot legally continue to work. If a student is relying on a job to finance their education, the end of DACA could have significant consequences for that student.