Every President since Ronald Reagan has attempted to, in some way, reform America’s immigration system. Democrats and Republicans have recognized that the present system has only created a second class of American society that millions of people live and toil in. These people are known as undocumented immigrants, as they did not come to live in America through official means. However, no president has succeeded at immigration reform because both parties have completely opposing ideas. Democrats want to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Republicans want to deport most of these people back to their home countries.
Where these distinctions start to fade is on the question of the “Dreamers.” These “Dreamers,” numbering about 800,000 in total, came to the United States when they were under 16 years old accompanied by family. Democrats and some Republicans have long argued that these children should be given citizenship, as they had no choice in coming here illegally. Many of them have only known America. Former President Barack Obama tried to pass a bill known as the DREAM Act that would give these people permanent legal status, but in 2001 it failed in congress. In 2012, he signed an executive order called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA, which allowed Dreamers to apply for work permits and a special status to live legally in the United States. To apply for DACA, one must have come to the United States before their 16th birthday, lived in the United States since June of 2007, attended high school and never been convicted of a felony, among other requirements.
Now, the status of these Dreamers is in doubt. The Trump administration has announced a phasing out of DACA in the next six months and encouraged Congress to come up with a permanent resolution to this issue. President Donald Trump has acted rather evasive on this issue, seemingly coming to deals with Republicans and Democrats and then denying that any took place. Many Dreamers have been active in pushing Congress for a solution that will give them permanent status in petitions and rallies. As a bipartisan bill doing so makes its way through Congress, they look to a speedy and humane agreement that will end the uncertainty of the past years.