With an open mind and two sides of the story, you’re bound to learn something new.
Welcome to the zoo! This is a blog where both the Republican and Democratic viewpoints are represented. The blog is not meant to sway you either way necessarily, just to present both sides of the story. You may not agree with the whole article, but hey, you’re likely to agree with half! The topic this week: DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)
DACA was established by the Obama Administration to protect immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. It allows for a renewable two year visa. About 800,000 people were enrolled in the program before Donald Trump rescinded it. To be eligible to apply for DACA, one must have arrived in the United States under the age of 16 and committed no felonies. One also must be in school, have graduated from high school, or been honorably discharged from the military. Because of these requirements, there is a selective group that is able to apply.
DACA has benefitted the United States economy significantly. DACA recipients received increased salaries with the program. DACA successfully reduced the number of households living above the poverty line. Because this program increased the hourly wages of recipients by 40%, they have been able to purchase homes and cars, which in turn has boosted local and state economies in the United States.
Repealing DACA is a detriment to the United States. It is a beneficial policy that allows children who have lived in the United States for much of their lives to legally live in the country they call home. Most of these children were brought to the United States by their parents; they did not choose where they live. All the DACA-eligible applicants are law-abiding people whose communities and livelihoods are in the United States. With the abolishment of DACA, they will be wrenched from the only life they know. These recipients are as much United States citizens as I am: they are educated, they were bred in the United States, and they consider this country home.
DACA is merely an executive order Band-Aid stuck on by Obama, without the approval of Congress, which is now being ripped off by Trump. I am not surprised. DACA provided a temporary and questionably unconstitutional fix to a longstanding issue in the United States. The policy does not provide a solution or a path to citizenship for noncitizens. Rather, DACA offers illegal immigrants who are hiding in the shadows a chance to step forward and receive college loans and a driver’s license. That is, unless they’re convicted of certain crimes, in which case they are eligible for deportation.
People relish portraying Trump as an evil orange monster ripping immigrants from their homes and friends, sweeping the life they knew out from under them. Although that scenario would make a great cartoon, unfortunately Trump is a fairly rational orange human- in this instance, at least. The Trump administration is no longer allowing for new applicants. However, current DACA recipients with permits expiring in six months or less may apply for a two-year renewal. In addition, Trump is giving Congress six months to review the policy, which he said is to “provide a window of opportunity for Congress to finally act.” Letting Congress do their job seems reasonable enough to me.