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Trump DACA Rumors No Surprise for Nebraska Dreamers

Immigration advocates say DREAMers are in every way Americans apart from the paperwork. (Elvert Barnes/Flickr)
Immigration advocates say DREAMers are in every way Americans apart from the paperwork. (Elvert Barnes/Flickr)
August 28, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. — Reports that President Trump will end protections for so-called DREAMers are coming as no surprise to some immigrant advocates.

Nebraska is among ten states threatening to sue if Trump does not rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program by September 5 - which could happen if rumors that began swirling late last week are true.

DACA offers protections for young undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children. Shane Ellison, legal director and deputy executive director with Justice for Our Neighbors in Nebraska, said many DREAMers attended school, graduated college and are contributing members of society.

"They feel every part a member of the fabric of our communities and are members of our communities in every way - Americans, apart from the paperwork,” Ellison said.

On Friday, the White House responded to the rumors by only saying the DACA program is "currently under review." There are an estimated 3,300 DREAMers in Nebraska.

According to the Center for American Progress, Nebraska would lose $150 billion in Gross Domestic Product if the state's DACA workers were removed.

Ellison said it would be a tough loss.

"Business leaders, community leaders, faith leaders, folks from the restaurant association, the cattleman have said the need for qualified workers is certainly present here,” he said. “And these young people who've grown up in Nebraska want to stay here and they want to give back."

He encouraged DREAMers to contact qualified immigration counsel to explore their options.

"Some of these young people, they've been in the United States for a long period of time,” Ellison said. “And if they have certain qualifying relatives, there may be defenses in the form of cancellation of removal or other family-based options."

Resources are available through Justice for Our Neighbors and the Nebraska Immigration Legal Assistance Hotline: 855-307-6730.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - NE