Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), established in 2012 by Obama, officially ends on March 6,
DACA was an American immigration policy that allowed those who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and to be eligible for a work permit. As of 2017, about 760,000 individuals were enrolled in the program. To be eligible for DACA provisions, immigrants came to the U.S. before 2007, were 15 years old or younger when they
Prior to DACA, children who were brought into the United States by relatives seeking a better life for themselves were living in the shadows, unable to achieve the American dream. Many of the children did not even know they were undocumented until they became teenagers and tried to obtain drivers’ licenses, get after-school jobs, or apply to college. At that point, they faced the reality that they really did not belong anywhere. Changes to immigration laws since the 1990s led to more children being settled into the United States with no connection to their home countries. These children literally had no other home than America, but they were not considered citizens.
Every American agrees that immigration reform is a critical issue. The DREAM Act offers a first step in achieving success in immigration that meets the requirements of most. More than 70 percent of Americans believe that DREAMERs should be allowed an opportunity to become legal citizens. DACA recipients can be considered the “cream of the crop” of American immigrants: they are educated, they speak English, they have jobs, and they have not committed crimes. Some of them have enlisted in the military and served by fighting for the freedoms that American citizens enjoy. They do not steal jobs from Americans; they contribute to job growth and a more vibrant economy. They add to the economy by buying cars, paying rent or buying houses, and paying taxes. They have
The arguments against DACA recipients are few but extreme: they are illegal...they steal jobs from real Americans…they get handouts from the government. Additionally, their parents should not be rewarded for migrating to the U.S. illegally. They should have done what is necessary to become legal citizens. A sweep of Obama’s pen allowed them to stay illegally. Yet, vilifying all immigrants based on political rhetoric has deepened the chasm of moral action in this country. In the words of Pope Francis, “those who, for what may be political reasons, foment fear of migrants instead of building peace, are
Putting rhetoric aside, DACA recipients represent the best option for progress toward immigration reform. Immigration created America. If current immigration laws existed prior to the 20th century, almost no one would be allowed to enter this country legally. These modern immigrants have had the cards stacked against them all their lives. They have no country, no true home