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Trump crushes dreams with DACA repeal

by Alexandra Weaver - Lifestyles Editor
Tue, Sep 12th 2017 11:00 pm

In President Donald Trump’s continued crusade against all things that aren’t lily-white, he’s selected a new target: an Obama-era policy called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, more commonly known as DACA. DACA allows people who were brought into the United States illegally by their parents to stay with a work permit, as long as they meet a specific set of guidelines.

The United States Department of Homeland Security outlines the requirements that undocumented people must meet in order to be considered for DACA on their website. In order to qualify, applicants could not have turned 32 until after the June 15, 2012 cut off date. They need to have come to the U.S. before they turned 16, have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, have no criminal record, be enrolled in school, have a GED or high school diploma, or be enlisted in the military or a military veteran.

As you can see, DACA only applies to productive and   law-abiding immigrants. Their only crime is coming illegally, but they did so as children. In order to find someone guilty of a crime, prosecutors need to be able to prove intent. Claiming that children could intend to violate immigration law is just absurd. Young children have no concept of what a border is, let alone that there are certain processes you need to follow in order to cross one legally. Even older children who may understand a little bit about immigration law can not provide for themselves. They need their parents and if their parents choose to cross illegally, they have no real choice but to follow them.

Once the kids grow up, their whole life is established here. Sending them back would completely uproot everything they and their parents worked to create, all when they've done nothing wrong.

Now Trump has decided that he wants to end DACA with a six month delay. A Politico report claims that Trump arrived at the decision while talking to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who argued that Congress should be responsible for writing immigration law, not the executive branch.

Ending DACA would be a catastrophe. The program applies to about 800,000 undocumented immigrants, many of whom own their own businesses or work jobs that American citizens don’t typically want to work. They contribute to the economy. Getting rid of DACA will likely have profound economic effects.

The move is incredibly unpopular, even amongst some Republicans. According to The Hill and The Washington Post, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio both agree that Congress should pass the equivalent of DACA. I never thought I’d say this, but I agree with Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio. Congress needs to pass a law that is the equivalent to DACA because laws are harder for the executive branch to overturn than executive orders. Because Congress was so unwilling to cooperate with Obama, he had no choice but to govern via executive orders. While this was better than doing nothing, it leaves most of his policies incredibly vulnerable to Trump, who only needs to pass an executive order of his own to get rid of Obama’s. 

If Republicans like Ryan and Rubio are supposedly so in favor of DACA, then why weren’t they willing to work with former President Obama to pass it through the legislative branch? When DACA passed, Republicans were livid, claiming that Obama was abusing his power. They were the ones that gave him no other option than to pass everything through executive orders. They also could have passed the law when Obama was in office. Then we wouldn’t have this problem now.

It’s crucial that we protect undocumented immigrants from Trump’s nonsense. He is targeting people who had no concept of the laws that they broke when they broke them or had no option but to break them. If Trump overturns Obama’s executive order, Congress needs to show some leadership and pass an identical copy of DACA.

People who don’t think that Dreamers should be protected need to take a serious look at themselves. There is nothing to be afraid of; Dreamers are not criminals. They are not just here for our welfare system. This country is just as much of a home to them as it is to you or me.

This country is a nation of immigrants. The president’s own grandfather was a German immigrant (according to an article from The Guardian, Friedrich Trump was actually banished from Germany for failing to complete mandatory military service. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree). 

Who are we to say that Dreamers have no place here? Save for the Native Americans, we were all new to this country once. Isn’t the most beautiful thing about this country supposed to be the fact that anyone can grow to call it home?

 

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