NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - President Donald Trump has rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and it could affect more than 24,000 people in Georgia.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement Tuesday. The Trump administration believes the executive order that created DACA is unconstitutional.
“I was, well I’m still, very upset and disappointed because I didn’t see this coming so face,” Jessica Colotl said.
Colotl was brought to the United States as a child by her undocumented immigrant parents.
Her case made national headlines seven years ago when she was nearly deported over a traffic ticket while she was a student at Kennesaw State University.
Former President Barack Obama signed the DACA executive order, which protected Colotl and others like her from deportation. Trump rescinded that order, saying it was unconstitutional and Congress should make immigration policy.
Colotl said she wants immigration reform, but also wants DACA to stay in place.
“This is the right time to pass some legislation, either a bridge act or dreamer act, and make it a reality for many people like myself who were brought into the U.S. through no fault of their own,” she said.
Some of Georgia’s congressional delegation weighed in on the decision.
“I agree with President Trump’s decision to reverse the order and call on Congress to fundamentally reform our immigration policy,” U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk said.
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“The president is thoughtfully correcting the error he inherited,” U.S. Rep. Doug Collins said.
“President Trump made the right move today by ending this unconstitutional and illegal amnesty program,” U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter said.
Immigration attorney Charles Kuck doesn’t think DACA was unconstitutional and thinks rescinding it will hurt 800,000 people nationwide.
“Obviously, there’s lots of kids out there that are going to be punished by this president taking away their ability to work and live and go to school in the only country that they know and love,” he said.
Marisol Estrada’s parents brought her to this country from Mexico when she was 5 years old.
She thinks the president’s decision will mobilize DACA supporters to act.
“This is the beginning of 800,000 people, plus their allies, working toward a more permanent solution," she said.
Atlanta School Board Member Steven Lee said parents in his district who came to the United States illegally are already worried and keeping their kids home.
“The parents in my district that were concerned like, we don’t want to bring their kids to the school because they’re scared that somebody will pull their kids out of school and we don’t want that to happen,” he said.
Kuck said that probably won’t happen, but he understands how DACA recipients are worried about their futures.
“Now they’re going to bring their families into the program and system where they’ll demand that our Congress do something for a change,” he said.
Some Georgia Republican lawmakers are calling on Congress to take up immigration reform, while one Georgia Democratic lawmaker says history will judge the president harshly for this decision.
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