The body of Alonso Guillén, a missing 31-year-old Mexican immigrant living in Texas under the DACA program, was found on Sunday, September 3, in the floodwaters and wreckage left behind by Hurricane Harvey that week in Spring, Texas.
There is no doubt that President Trump’s actions in the past week have shaken up the immigrant community. After all, much of his campaign promises to undo Obama’s immigration legacies are coming to life. On January 27, 2017, Trump placed a “Muslim” ban on travelers— including those with green cards and dual nationalities—entering the United States. The executive order affected many individuals who live and study in the U.S. and were returning from vacation.
Barack Obama has done much during his last term to aid immigrants to the United States. His single-handed implementation of DACA in 2012 (Deferred Action for Children Arrivals) and his attempts to expand DACA and introduce DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) in 2015 have been praised by pro-immigrant groups. At the same time, the number of deportations has steadily increased during his time in the White House, reaching over 2.4 million between 2009 and 2014 (Wagner, 2016). What is going on?
In a relatively short 15-minute address on Thursday night, President Obama exercised the Oval Office-specific power of executive action on immigration reform that has stalled in Congress for years.