Roughly 800,000 undocumented immigrants in the United States are DACA recipients. On September 5th, 2017, President Donald Trump announced the end of DACA. DACA is an acronym for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA is a program that was created during President Obama’s era that protects undocumented immigrants that came to the United States before the age of sixteen of deportation, and also grants them access to a social security number, and a work permit among other things.
DACA has helped and improved countless lives. Julia Verzbickis, a middle school teacher from San Antonio, has achieved her dreams through DACA. She was nine years old when her family and her moved to the United States and unfortunately got scammed by a lawyer. Instead of lashing back out at the hand she was dealt, she challenged her energy into her school work and got early admissions into Rutgers. She was then approved for DACA which led her to her social security number, license, and approved application to Teach for America. She has been here for fifteen years and has accomplished her dreams from the benefit of DACA. Juan Escalante, has given back to the community since being approved for DACA. He was able to re-enroll in Florida State University, obtained his masters degree, advocated for a bill that was passed and signed into law that allowed “undocumented students to obtain in-state tuition at state colleges and universities”. Juan now works as a digital immigration advocate and helps his younger brothers with school. Juventino Meza, a law school student, explains the achievements of many through DACA. He is a law school students, has a high paying job, helped start a nonprofit that helps young immigrants stay in school. These are just a few success stories of thousands that have worked extremely hard to achieve their goal, and it is with DACA that they were able to benefit from such opportunities.
According to The Boston Globe, “DACA enrollees should be allowed to stay legally in the United States; only 15 percent want them deported. Majorities of Democrats, eighty-four percent, seventy-four percent of independents, and sixty-nine percent of Republicans believe dreamers should be able to remain as permanent legal residents. Even among Trump voters, two-thirds think dreamers should stay”. President Trump himself seemed to be in conflict with his announcement. Afterwards he tweeted at Congress to legalize DACA and to legislate another policy similar to DACA through the proper channels since President Obama passed it with his executive authority because he has a love for the recipients of DACA.
Many people believe it was President Trump’s own decision to terminate DACA, especially since he based his campaign off terminating immigration in the United States, but the White House made the decision. The White House made this decision “as a matter of legal necessity”, because “nine Republican state attorney generals had threatened to sue to halt the program immediately” if President Trump did not come up his own opposition towards it. It was determined that the DACA would not be able to survive such a court battle.
President Trump’s administration has left DACA in the hands off Congress. Congress has until March 5, 2018 to come up with a solution that legalizes DACA or legislate a version of it. In the meantime, administration officials claim that DACA recipients will not be harmed. Recipients status’s that expire from September 5, 2017 through March 5, 2018 have until October 5, 2017 to renew their DACA. Approved renewals will have another two year period in the United States.
On September 9, 2017 hundreds of people gathered around Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in Oakland to protest the end of DACA. Lucy Siale, the rally’s organizer, explained that the benefit of the rally was to show support for DACA recipients and attack the White House decision. The attorney general of fifteen states, and California’s attorney general have filed a lawsuit against President Trump and his administration over the termination of DACA. According to The National Review, “New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia” are the plaintiffs. Their reasoning is that Trump’s sudden termination of DACA is illegal, unconstitutional, and harmful to thousands of residents as well as many state’s economics. California is pursuing their own lawsuit because twenty-five percent of DACA recipients actually reside in California.
DACA recipients must reapply every two years and the whole process cost about one thousand dollars. They pay their taxes and contribute to programs such as medicare and Social Security that would end up cut by billions of dollars if DACA recipients were removed. To end DACA would mean to crush people dreams and hurt the economy.