AZUZ: OK. Next this Wednesday, a change in the U.S. government's immigration policy. Yesterday, President Donald Trump repealed a program created by his predecessor, former President Barack Obama. It's known as DACA.
And in the five years since it was enacted, DACA has directly affected almost 800,000 people in the U.S., allowing them to stay in the country legally, though they didn't come to the country legally.
REPORTER: A Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, it was started by President Barack Obama in 2012. It allows young immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children to apply for a renewable two-year visa. That allows them to work legally in the U.S. and saves them from deportation.
So, who qualifies?
Those who have been in the U.S. since 2007 and came before they turned 16, and those who are under the age of 31 before June 15, 2012, when DACA went into effect. Applicants must be in school, have a high school diploma, or be a military veteran. And they must have mostly clean criminal record.
It's important to note, the status doesn't put participants on the path to legal permanent residency, or citizenship. But it does mean these immigrants can get things like driver's licensees, credit cards and open bank accounts.
A recent survey found that after being approved for DACA, 5 percent of recipients started their own businesses and 17 percent bought a home for the first time. Some critics say DACA is unconstitutional, because Obama introduced it by executive action and without congressional approval. They also argue that DACA promotes future illegal immigration because it signals that if you come here illegally, there are ways to be able to stay.
AZUZ: The divide over this issue was clear throughout the U.S. yesterday. Supporters of the Trump administration's decision said current immigration laws must be enforced. But those who opposed the president's changes joined in public demonstrations across the country and said they were, quote, here to stay.
The government's repeal of the DACA policy doesn't take effect immediately. For those whose legal status expires in the next six months, the Trump administration plans to renew it. The idea is to give Congress time to agree on a law concerning young people who entered or were brought to the U.S. illegally.
On Capitol Hill, supporters of the repeal say President Trump is doing the right thing because former President Obama should have gone through Congress in the first place to determine U.S. immigration policy. Opponents say President Trump's decision could separate families and lead to the deportations of people who have nowhere to go. Several Democratic and Republican lawmakers indicated they were willing to work together to come up with a solution.