DACA is an acronym that stands for the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals. It is a program put into place during the Obama administration that allows children of immigrants, who themselves are not legal citizens, to keep getting the education and employment in America that they deserve as humans with natural rights. The Trump administration wants to rescind DACA, which could upend more than 600,000 people. About 690,000 young adults are currently in the DACA program and there are 34,000 additional first-time applications. To be eligible, applicants had to have arrived in the US before age 16 and have lived there since June 15, 2007. They could not have been older than 30 when the Department of Homeland Security enacted the policy in 2012. DACA recipients have been able to come out of the shadows and obtain valid driver’s licenses, enroll in college and legally secure jobs. They also pay income taxes just like any American citizen. However, the program does not give them a path to become US citizens or even legal permanent residents. Fortunately, under DACA, Dreamers, the term for those in the program, were able to apply to defer deportation and legally reside in the US for two years. After that, they could apply for renewal. The Trump administration put an end to new DACA applications in September and accepted renewal applications for another month which means that if Congress doesn’t act, starting March 6, as many as 983 undocumented people could lose their protected status every day, nearly 30,000 people a month, on average, for two years, as DACA permits start to expire.
“To target these young people is wrong because they have done nothing wrong,” Obama wrote in a post. “It is self-defeating because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated. It’s about who we are as a people and who we want to be.”
“It’s wrong because it’s bad policy that solves no pressing problem and raises new ones. It’s wrong because it’s irresponsible, passing the buck instead of offering sensible solutions for immigration reform. Most of all, it’s wrong because it’s cruel to send these young people to places many of them have never lived and do not know. For them this is home. The United States is their home,” Bill Clinton said.
“Brought by parents, these children had no choice in coming here. Now they’ll be sent to countries they’ve never known. Cruel. Not America,” Biden tweeted.
Getting rid of DACA hurts the economy as well. A report from the Center for American Progress found that 87 percent of DACA beneficiaries are using their work permits and 83 percent of those working also attend school. Besides lost tax revenues, American businesses would face billions in turnover costs, because employers would lose qualified workers whom they have trained and in whom they have invested. “Why would you take people out of the work force, who are part of the system and paying taxes?” Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi told the New York Times that five years after DACA is repealed, the U.S. gross domestic product would be $105 billion lower than if DACA were to remain in force. “Our economy would lose $460.3 billion from the national GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions” if DACA is ended.
Rescinding DACA is not a legal requirement, and is wrong on many levels. It is wrong for our country to push out Dreamers for a choice that was not theirs. They did not choose to be born in a country that was oppressing to their families, and they did not choose to immigrate to a new country when they were just young children. They deserve the same human rights as any legal citizen, and they do not deserve to be deported to a land they do not know, a land they can not call home even if they were born there.Tags: daca dreamers humanrights Immigration