How Trump affects OC: DACA


Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the Prescott Valley Event Center in Prescott Valley, Arizona. Trump is opposed to DACA and is in favor of a comprehensive immigration plan.

Kate Wasson, Editor-at-Large

In the 2016 election, Orange County, a historically conservative county, voted for Hillary Clinton based on data from The Los Angeles Times. Trump won 44% of the vote, however Clinton won by 49%, according to the OC Register. In the end, President Donald Trump won the overall election, taking 306 electoral votes. For Orange County, this win was surprising, since Trump campaigned with ideas of building a wall along the southern border of the country and ending programs like DACA which benefit the thousands of immigrant families living in OC.


According to Fox News, in 2012, the Obama administration began accepting applications for their new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA would help those who came to the United States under the age of 16 who are in school, who have a high school diploma or a GED, and do not have a criminal record. Once deemed eligible, DACA recipients received protection from deportation and a work permit. The program expired after two years and is subject to renewal. In Sept. 2017, the Trump administration began planning to roll back DACA protections.

“In the five years since DACA was enacted, the nearly 800,000 individuals who have received the protections have started families, pursued careers and studied in schools and universities across the United States,” according to a CNNPolitics report.

The Trump administration plans to end DACA all together, hoping to phase out DACA for current recipients, and no new requests would be granted, according to CNBCTrump and his administration claim that, currently, DACA is applied “not to children in schools, but to adult inmates in jails,” according to Trump’s “Immigration Reform That Will Make America Great Again.”

“Earlier this year, Trump released his ‘four pillars’ of immigration reform which included a provision for legal status for DACA recipients and others who would be eligible for DACA status,” reported Fox News. “The White House estimated that total to be 1.8 million people.”

The ‘four pillars’ outlined in Trump’s plan included, “creating a path to citizenship for DREAMers, securing the border, eliminating the diversity visa lottery, and limiting family-based immigration,” according to The Atlantic

DACA is considered a part of the latter, family-based immigration, according to Vox.

In Orange County alone, there are 247,500 undocumented immigrants who could face deportation under the new administration’s immigration plans, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

However, in Jan. 2018, a San Francisco judge ruled that DACA “must remain in place while litigation is ongoing,” and, a month later, a Brooklyn federal judge ordered the government to allow recipients of DACA to continue enjoying protections, but declined to guarantee the program to new applicants, according to Fox News

In April, a federal judge ruled that the Trump administration “must resume (DACA) and accept new applicants,” according to The New York Times.



On campus, many students feel passionate about this issue.

“When I think of DACA, I especially think about the fears and anxiety that the unprotected children are experiencing,” senior Jessica Mendez said.

Mendez sympathizes with DACA recipients and the worry that they face on a daily basis.

“I am against Trump’s stance because it seems unethical to treat people this way,” Mendez said. “The way that Trump first approached this topic left a horrible first impression in my mind. His approach seemed to come out of hatred rather than concern.”


On the other hand, students like junior Ziggan Fischer feel the current DACA program is ineffective.

“It’s, by all means, a loophole; however, it’s too complicated to call with the civil rights involved,” Fischer said.

Fischer feels that the DACA program is very complex and doesn’t keep people without citizenship out.

“My hope is that whatever happens, our government keeps in mind every person being affected by changing policy and moves forward with compassion and understanding,” history teacher Brittany Machian said.

Machian hopes that, despite the tumultuous times, the government will create tolerant policies to benefit those affected.

While Democrats are adamant on keeping DACA, Republicans are generally willing to agree with the promise of the border wall. Still, both Democrats and Republicans have been attempting to work together to create a solution that benefits both sides of the conflict.

In all fairness, I do hope that the president is open to compromise and will execute a solution that will satisfy all parties,” Mendez said. “I want him to succeed in unifying this country, for the sake of this country.”

This story will be updated, as the future of DACA is still in flux.