Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has had a lot on his plate lately, including the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients who are serving in our armed forces.
The Obama-era program has been a key point for President Trump during his first year in office, with hundreds of thousands of people waiting to know their fate. Congress has been told they have until March 5th, 2018 to create a solution.
Recently, however, many DREAMers have announced that they will self-deport if they must.
“Alex and I are both over this [DACA situation],” said Daniela, who is 24-years-old. “If DACA ends, I will leave with Alex. I will close my business, leave work and school.”
Should Alex, who is 19, find herself unprotected, she said she is clear on what her plan will be. “I will leave. I will leave America as soon as possible,” she said. “I want to be able to leave on my terms. I’m not going to be waiting for anyone to come for me.”
According to Politico, Mattis has decided that DREAMers on active duty (or in the reserves) will not be subject to deportation, even extending this to those who have enlisted but are waiting on boot camp.
DREAMer veterans who have an honorable discharge will also be protected under the Mattis promise.
#SecDef Mattis speaks with members of the press at the #Pentagon. Transcript to follow. pic.twitter.com/1A8Lkul8ya
— Jonathan Hoffman (@ChiefPentSpox45) February 8, 2018
“We would always stand by one of our people,” the retired United States Marine Corps general said, adding that he already consulted with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to confirm his plan.
There are some exceptions to this promise, of course. Those DREAMers who have or are serving can still be deported if they’ve committed a serious felony or if a federal judge has already signed a final order of deportation on them. “That would be a judicial action that obviously we obey in the court system. We don’t have veto authority over a court,” the 67-year-old said, as quoted by The Hill.
There are about 850 DACA recipients serving in the military at this moment (either active or awaiting boot camp).