A federal policy that provides work permits for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children appears imperiled on the eve of a rally at the Statehouse to protect the program.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era policy, allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to live and work in the country, but President Donald Trump may rescind the program under pressure from several states officials as advocates rally to save it.
Rep. John Alcala, a Topeka Democrat, and Rep. Louis Ruiz, a Kansas City Democrat, will lead a group of other elected officials and immigration advocates in a rally for legal immigration and DACA on Friday, according to a press release. The program, however, could soon be scrapped.
A Group of 10 attorneys general, including Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, and one governor asked the Trump administration in a letter to cut the program by Sept. 5 and threatened to sue the federal government if that did not happen.
The White House has not made any official statements on the program that has approved more than 6,800 applications for those living in Kansas, but Trump may decide to end it as early as Friday, according to the McClatchy Washington Bureau and several national news outlets. CNN reported earlier Thursday that the White House was negotiating to move back the deadline for a decision.
Ruiz said DACA recipients should be in contact with immigration authorities to figure out their rights. He said many only know life in the U.S.
“These children know no other flag, know no other national anthem,” Ruiz said.
Schmidt’s spokeswoman, Jennifer Montgomery, said in an email that the office had seen no official news from the White House regarding DACA.
Earlier this month, a group of DACA recipients, or “dreamers,” organizers and religious leaders delivered a petition with more than 600 signatures to Schmidt’s office asking him to remove himself from the letter urging DACA’s end. In a statement, he said the authority to create a program like DACA rests with Congress, not the executive branch. President Barack Obama created the program through executive order.