President Donald Trump's administration has rolled back one of his campaign promises by continuing the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, ensuring that so-called "Dreamers" are safe from deportation for the duration of their work permits.
The program granted work authorization for certain undocumented immigrants who arrived to the United States as children, lifting their fears of deportation. Recipients are known as Dreamers because of a failed 2001 bill called the DREAM Act.
In guidance posted June 15, the Department of Homeland Security said Dreamers "will continue to be eligible" for renewal and "no work permits will be terminated prior to their current expiration dates."
"At this point, this is very good news," said Missionaries of Jesus Sr. Norma Pimentel, executive director of the Catholic Charities in Texas' Rio Grande Valley. "It provides security for Dreamers, and I believe we have to be happy for that. They don't have to be afraid and instead can think more toward their future and participate in their schools more. Actions like this provide peace of mind."
Echoing Pimentel's positivity, Sr. Sharon Altendorf said "this is good news, for sure." Altendorf is a Sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and teaches English as a second language to mostly Mexican students in San Antonio.
"I know the people who have DACA have been trembling these last few days and were asking if they should renew or not," she said. "It's a general feeling, isn't it, with this president? That we just seem to be living with constant earth tremors, like, 'What's he going to change next?' ... It's so unsettling. He changes his mind so quickly that it's hard to trust, hard to believe that they're safe."