In September, President Donald Trump announced he would be putting an end to the program that allows thousands of young, undocumented immigrants to live and work in the United States. Some foodservice directors haven’t sorted through all the possible effects of the policy shift—but they know how they’re going to proceed.
The Obama administration established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012 by executive order. Under the act, DACA recipients can earn more citizenship rights, such as getting a driver’s license, going to college and gaining legal employment.
Foodservice is among the top six industries employing the most immigrants, according to March research from Pew Research Center.
The nutrition services team at the University of California San Diego Health System does not think the termination of the program would have an immediate impact on the operation, says Chris McCracken, director of nutrition services for the health system. But that all depends on changes to enforcement and the time frame it will take to implement the changes, McCracken says. “We have a very diverse workforce at both campuses; we value the differences that each individual brings to our team and enjoy learning the various cultural differences from our team members,” he says.
Houston Independent School District in Texas passed a resolution in February backing undocumented students. “Our schools will continue to be safe and positive learning environments that promote student learning and development versus discrimination and fear,” HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza said in a statement. The district’s foodservice operation said it would follow the superintendent’s direction.