Recently, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) rose as a topic of debate in politics. Just a few days ago, President Donald Trump announced his official plan to end the pro- gram, which sparked both praise and heated protests regarding his decisions. As with any political issue, it is difficult to know where we stand unless we know the facts, so here I’ve compiled a list of a few important things to note about President Trump’s decision.
1. What is DACA?
In 2012, former president Barack Obama created DACA, which assists immigrants under age 31 who moved to the United States before turning 16 years old. Those protected by the act are called Dreamers. Essentially, the act allows a two year period of deferral of the deportation of illegal immi- grants who pass a vetting procedure, and allows them to obtain work authorization. DACA affects roughly 800,000 immigrants.
2. The effects of DACA’s end are not all immediate.
While applications for the program are no longer being accepted, President Trump purposefully al- lowed a six month leeway period between his announcement and the pro- gram’s official end (when work permits will no longer be valid), in order to leave the option for Congress to act and create a program to help Dreamers in a different manner.
3. There are a few programs being considered to protect those affected.
These acts could be a whole story themselves, but the BRIDGE Act, the DREAM Act and the RAC Act are currently being considered by Congress, and each have support from both Democrats and Re- publicans, so it is possible that Congress could debate and shape one of these acts into a program that assists Dreamers in place of DACA. Personally, the elimination of DACA is something that I’m torn on. I tend to lean in a more conservative direction, so there are obviously principles of the re- peal that I agree with. I am a strong supporter of legal immigration, and I truly believe that as soon as illegal immigrants turns 18, they should immediately embark on the road to citizenship. Those who feel no need or desire to be an official part of our country should not be here in the first place. From a legal standpoint, the removal of DACA is one step towards halting illegal immigration and returning jobs to American workers, which is exactly what President Trump promised in his relentless 2016 campaign. That being said, I am sympathetic for the children protected by DACA who were unwillingly brought to our country and now face the reality of separation from their home. Obviously, I speak from an out- sider’s perspective and can never understand the panic and anxiety that these children are currently facing. While I support President Trump in upholding his campaign promises, I think perhaps there are other options, such as a temporary program in place of DACA, rather than striking fear into the hearts of innocent people who call the United States their home. I will be praying for those affected every day.