Trump's DACA rollback plan puts Louisiana immigrant community on edge

Trump's DACA rollback plan puts Louisiana immigrant community on edge

(WAFB) - The Trump administration's plan to rollback DACA leaves in limbo the future of about 2,000 so-called "dreamers" in Louisiana.

DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was created in 2012 through an executive action by President Barack Obama. It allowed undocumented immigrants, brought to the United States as children, to live without deportation.

"It's dangerous for the kids... they're going to be scared more and more," said Carlos Chavez.

Chavez is just one of the many members of Louisiana's immigrant community now on edge. While Chavez is in the country legally, he is worried about his friend, who could now see his children forcibly kicked out of the U.S. and sent back to Honduras.

"It's going to separate the whole family," said Chavez.

Those kids are part of the DACA program. So far, about 800,000 people nationwide have qualified for the program. The program has faced backlash from some members of the GOP, including Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, who labeled the program as unconstitutional and an example of executive overreach.

Landry joined a handful of other state AGs from across the country in signing a letter threatening legal action if the Trump administration did not act to undo DACA.

After Tuesday's announcement, Landry declined an on-camera interview. In a statement, he praised the White House's decision, saying DACA "was another example of the Obama administration bypassing Congress to advance its radical agenda."

However, Trump's move has not come without criticism. It has divided GOP lawmakers in Washington.

Meanwhile in Louisiana, the head of the ACLU called it "cruel," arguing that it hurts children who had no choice but to come to the U.S. with their parents.

"They have done what every other American has done, which is to build a life here. Many have no contact with their countries in which they were born. They don't know anyone there. They have no experience there. Their lives are here," said Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana.

The rollback of DACA could take several months. During that time, Congress could act to replace the program. However, as Esman pointed out, this Congress is not quick to do much of anything.

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