The DACA limbo state

Updated: Feb 18

There are approximately 120,000 youngsters in the United States who are in the country without proper documentation and who will turn 15 over the next four years. The numbers come from the Migration Policy Institute and are presented as part of a report in The Washington Post on the fact that these potential recipients of protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program live in a state of immigration limbo.

Because the program is in suspension under the Trump administration and a lack of action by Congress to resolve the status of the so-called "dreamers," many can only wonder what will happen to them. They don't know what the future holds. Nor do they know how long it will take to get answers to their immigration questions.

When the media talks about DACA and the dreamers, they don't tend to detail who is affected. Many in the U.S. likely jump to the conclusion that all of these young people are from Latin America. What they do not know is that while nations in that region are the birthplaces of most individuals, South Korea is among the top ten countries of origin as counted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Lacking action at the federal level, some state legislatures are stepping in. California already has a law on the books that grants in-state college tuition to undocumented immigrants, as do other states. It also passed a law recently allocating tens of millions of dollars in annual immigration-related funds to provide legal assistance to immigrants, including those eligible for DACA status.

These legal ins and outs create a complicated environment for individuals who may least know how to respond. Where questions exist, consult an experienced attorney for answers.