May 27, 2020
More than 200 people protested in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program in Fresno's Tower District on Sept. 17, 2017. (Daniel Avalos/The Collegian)

Support for DACA grows

By Lisa Mascaro and Noah Bierman – Tribune Washington Bureau

California State University Chancellor Timothy White released a statement recently encouraging eligible students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, to submit a renewal application before Oct. 5.

On Sept. 5, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced DACA would be phased out over the next six months.

“Renewal of your DACA status may be your only opportunity to obtain an additional two years of deportation protection and legal work authorization,” White said.

On Sunday evening, about 200 people protested in support of the DACA program Fresno’s Tower District. The organizer, Sophia Bautista, is a Fresno City College student.

“It’s a really politically charged issue, but I don’t think it’s partisan as all,” she said about President Donald Trump reportedly working with Democrats to reach an agreement to secure the program’s future.

On Sept. 13, Democratic leaders said they had reached an agreement with Trump to provide legal status for 800,000 immigrants with DACA who came to the country illegally as children, part of a package that would include border security but not money for a wall on the Mexican border.

The deal would need to be approved by Congress. But it could provide further momentum to a budding movement toward bipartisanship that began when Trump reached a fiscal agreement with Democrats to keep the government open to early December and authorize enough borrowing to pay the nation’s debts.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said in a joint statement that the two sides agreed to write into law protections from deportation for the so-called Dreamers, which would be incorporated into a broader measure that would beef up border security.

Pelosi and Schumer said the deal would not include Trump’s signature promise to build a border wall, loathed by Democrats. But White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a Twitter statement denying that the wall was excluded from an agreement to replace DACA.

“While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to,” Sanders wrote.

However, the administration has indicated in recent days that Trump would be open to pursuing border wall money in separate legislation to avoid holding up a bill to help immigrants under DACA, and Democrats were adamant that Trump had agreed.

“The President made clear he would continue pushing the wall, just not as part of this agreement,” tweeted Schumer spokesman Matt House.

Jessica Johnson and Daniel Avalos contributed to this story.

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