Repealing DACA is a Bad Idea


Los Angeles Times

Yulliet Ruiz, News Editor

On September 5, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the repealing of DACA- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This immigration policy allowed for deferred action on deportation of immigrants who came to the United States in their youth.

The legislation was introduced during the Obama administration in 2012. After Congress failed to pass the DREAM Act, then-President Obama passed DACA through an executive order. In order to qualify for DACA, immigrants ,often called “Dreamers,” had to be younger than 31 on June 15, 2012, must have come to the United States when they were younger than 16 and must have lived in the United States since 2007. This legislation allows immigrants to be eligible for a work permit and is renewable every two years based on good behavior.

Based on a survey conducted by the National Immigration Center and Center for American Progress, Dreamers are actually beneficial for the United States (as immigrants tend to be). Most of the people surveyed (91 percent to be precise) have a job. Because of DACA, 69 percent of the respondents moved to better paying jobs and 45 percent are pursuing higher education.

The removal of DACA recipients would result in the loss of $460.3 billion of the gross national product, according to the Center of American Progress. More statistics could be listed to further the argument, but it would become boring.

So why, despite evidence proving DACA recipients help the country, is the program being ended?

According to Sessions, DACA “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs,” and increased the amount of unaccompanied minors crossing the border.

Two years after DACA was announced, there was a surge in unaccompanied minors crossing the border. However, that had more to do with the economic conditions of the countries the minors were coming from and the impression that the Obama administration gave off as being lenient on illegal immigrants.

But let’s be real here. DACA recipients are being used as a bargaining chip by the Trump administration to further their interests. One of the key promises Trump made during his campaign was cracking down on illegal immigration. With Democrats in Congress blocking legislation that would strengthen border control, no legislation has been passed. Trump gave Congress six months to come up with an alternative.

Compromises will have to be made, and the Trump administration is likely hoping for legislation regarding immigration control or a wall between Mexico and the United States to be added to the mix. If nothing is resolved, Trump will wipe his hands clean of it and blame Congress for their inability to help the Dreamers

What’s not fair is that these hardworking Americans have their future hanging up in the air, waiting for Congress to decide their fate. Although the Dreamers were born in other countries, they are Americans. Most of them came before the age of 10 and have lived in the United States for most of their lives.

Many of them don’t remember what their native country is like and have assimilated to the customs and traditions of the United States. They would be lost if they were sent back and would lose the place they call home.