DACA

by: Aambar Agarwal

“This is a sad day for our country,” wrote Mark Zuckerberg. “It is particularly cruel to offer young people the American dream, encourage them to come out of the shadows and trust our government, and then punish them for it.” He wrote this is in response to Jeff Sessions’ words on Tuesday, September 5 about ending DACA by March 2018. Sessions’ words upset many Dreamers, and now many of them are wondering if they will get deported, something they have not worried about since June 2012.

DACA stands for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It was put into effect by the Obama Administration in June 2012. It is an immigration policy that gives temporary legal immigration status to people known as Dreamers who came into the US before turning sixteen, but are younger than thirty-one. They also have to attend school and have no criminal record. Dreamers are people who were brought into the U.S. illegally at a young age. It gives Dreamers the temporary right to live, study, and work legally. The majority of Dreamers come from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, and they mainly live in California, Texas, Florida, and New York. Most are around fifteen to thirty-five right now, and all they have ever known is America. Deporting them would be inhuman. Living under the radar gives undocumented immigrants constant stress and makes them depressed, which leads to even more health problems. The Trump Administration and their supporters see this differently, even though around 800,000 would be affected and deported if Trump follows through with his plan.

Trump was going to give Congress six months to legalize DACA, which is something that the Obama Administration was unable to do. Trump was getting rid of DACA because he wants to limit the number of immigrants coming into America each year. Sessions said that DACA has “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same jobs to go to illegal aliens.” He is convinced that undocumented immigrants are taking away the availability of jobs, even though fact checkers called statements such as this false. Less than ten days after September 5, Trump has once again changed his mind on DACA. Now, he is working on a deal with Democrats to let Dreamers stay in America. In exchange, there will be a border security package, but it will not include funding for Trump’s famous wall along the Southern border. Schumer and Pelosi, two Democratic leaders, said that they had worked out the deal. However, Trump claimed on Twitter that there was “no deal.” Some people are calling Pelosi a liar, and that there had never been a deal.

There are economic repercussions if DACA comes to an end. The estimated loss in GDP, the value of goods and services produced in a year, would be 11.6 billion in California, 6.3 in Texas, 2.6 in New York, and 1.5 in Florida. It could cost the economy up to 200 billion. There are also negative health consequences because ending DACA causes stress for the people affected. People say that DACA should be kept because the people protected contribute to society. Other people say that DACA should be abolished because it encourages illegal immigration. Both groups fight over whether or not it is constitutional, and whether it was an abuse of power by the former president.

Obama said that getting rid of DACA is “wrong,” “self-defeating,” and “cruel.” Trump said that he is getting rid of DACA, and the next day he said that he is keeping DACA. All that Donald Trump is doing is playing with the lives of thousands of Dreamers.