A legal U.S. immigrant says she is concerned an amnesty deal is forthcoming in Congress that will grant citizenship to DACA recipients.
"The 'D' in DACA stands for 'Deferred' deportation. So DACA is never meant to be a permanent solution," says author Helen Raleigh, a legal immigrant from China who studies immigration policy at the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University.
"It is not a path to citizenship. It's not even a pass to a green card," she continues. "What it offers is a two-year temporary relief for people."
Yet there are concerns the Republican-led Congress will grant amnesty to DACA recipients after President Donald Trump rescinded the program instituted by President Barack Obama on the grounds it was unconstitutional.
While Trump has promised tougher border enforcement and a crackdown on illegal immigration, he has struck a softer tone for the DACA program, which affects approximately 800,000 young adults who were brought into the U.S. illegally by their illegal alien-parents.
Writing for The Federalist about DACA's requirements, Raleigh points out that illegals who are eligible for DACA had to arrive before the age of 16, must have lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, and couldn't be older than 30 when the policy began in 2012.
The program allows those who qualify to legally obtain a driver's license, enroll in college, and work, and they can apply for another two years if there is no criminal record.
"There you have it," writes Raleigh, who legally came to the U.S. in 1996. "DACA is not a path to legal residency or U.S. citizenship."
Raleigh tells OneNewsNow she doubts Congress will do the right thing, which to her is granting DACA recipients work visas or student visas. That makes them legal but doesn't give them a permanent status as a U.S. citizen.
Instead, she fears, they will enjoy a "special path" to citizenship that rewards them with an opportunity that others weren't afforded who, like Raleigh, followed the nation's laws.
"To me," she says, "that is the absolute wrong message to send."