Heartbroken. Disappointed. Stunned. Law students who took a shot at becoming lawyers with the help of an Obama-era immigration program say that’s how they feel after the news that President Donald Trump could rescind the program.
Among the estimated 800,000 undocumented immigrants who are recipients of Deferred Action for Children Arrivals, or DACA, are law students across the country. The program, created by President Barack Obama in 2012, protects children of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. before their 16th birthday. Under DACA, they can get work permits, deferrals from deportation and other benefits in this country.
Exactly how many law students are protected by DACA is unclear, but a recent survey of 1,608 DACA program participants conducted by Harvard University’s National UnDACAmented Research Project found that 42 percent expect to obtain a master’s degree, a professional degree or a law degree. Michael A. Olivas, an immigration law professor at the University of Houston, has predicted that likely dozens of undocumented immigrants will want to enter state bar associations in coming years.