DACA’s Removal: Turning Dreams into Nightmares

Ashton Jah, Writer

As result of modern politics, the word, ‘immigration’ has commonly held a negative connotation through the media and with the recent actions by the Trump administration. Allowing child immigrants who are currently undocumented to live a normal American life is a keen gesture for a better future.

Founded by the Obama Administration in 2001, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is an American immigration policy which provides immigrants who were minors upon entrance to the country the ability to apply for deferred action for a two-year period.

Typically referred to as ‘Dreamers’, DACA applicants have mostly lived in the United States for a large part of their life. Living as Americans, this program grants undocumented immigrants who meet a list of specifications the ability to obtain a work permit, apply for social statuses, and even attend a college.

However, the removal of DACA by President Trump would be cruel to America as a whole–but particularly to immigrants who were brought on behalf of their parents.

According to CNN politics, there are currently more than 700,000 undocumented immigrants who could potentially lose protection from Trump’s pending decision. Nearly 983 undocumented people which were previously covered under DACA would lose their protected status daily. That’s around 360,000 people a year losing their ability to properly sustain their life.

Because of their admission into the States at such a young age, many Dreamers do not have the desired option to go back to a home they would know, simply because most have no roots in their home country.

Former President, Barack Obama mentioned in a statement, “This is about young people who grew up in America. These Dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper.” He later added, “To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating – because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love,” and he is absolutely correct.

Taking away the dreams of contributors to our everyday lives would be cruel to those who live their lives trying to improve this country. Bruno Distinto, a Dreamer who moved to the United States at the age of six told CNN, “If [Trump] takes [DACA] away, then I have gone to school, I’ve done all this hard work to try to help my family, for nothing.” Other Dreamers worry that, without DACA, they could become a priority for deportation.

Do I believe we should deport the millions of undocumented immigrants? Yes and no. To those immigrants who admitted into the United States legally, the people who come illegally ruin the image of immigrants. However, the children who were brought into the States illegally have no say in the process.

Coming out of the shadows to say that one who illegally came into the United States wants to assist to the country they call home is something that many undocumented immigrants have done to show support. A child should not be handicapped because of the sins of their father or mother’s intentions.

Unlike many nations, the United States was built on the principles of being the land of the free and home of the brave; we should accept the children who had no choice but to move to America illegally. Trying to escape from tragedy, war, poverty, and despair, we should accept these people by noticing the work and effort they are trying to put in each day to survive. Although most Americans are unaware of this, numerous undocumented immigrants provide support to the states by improving the economy, workforce, providing jobs, and paying tax dollars, which ultimately is improving our society.

“Making America great again” was the driving force of President Trump’s campaign trail; however, destroying the lives of young men and women that now serve our country to help establish a better future for years to come is what can make America great.

Another Dreamer, Leezia Dhalla told CNN that without having the ability to get a work permit, they would be “ripped out of the workforce” and would ultimately lose the ability to sustain life. In addition to the loss of money, they would also lose their ability to obtain a driver’s license.

Imagine finding out you are an undocumented immigrant when applying for a Driver’s License or when applying for college. It must be devastating. A Pulitzer prize winner, Jose Antonio Vargas, is an undocumented immigrant who found out his illegal status when applying for a license. “I rode my bike to the nearby D.M.V. office to get my driver’s permit,” Vargas wrote in an essay. “But when I handed the clerk my green card as proof of U.S. residency, she flipped it around, examining it. ‘This is fake,’ she whispered. ‘Don’t come back here again.’”

Vargas is not the only open undocumented immigrant. In fact, there are hundreds of thousands of open undocumented immigrants. Many like him have to go through their daily lives hoping they will not be deported – hoping their close friends will keep their secret safe, hiding pictures, and living another life.

One of the simple solutions to this dilemma is allowing this dominating program to continue. Removing children from their families and placing them in a country where they speak no English is not good for the family–especially the child. Where their family is deported or they successfully hide out, there must be some way to sustain a decent life for the child.

There is no doubt that people living right here in Madison are going through the struggles of daily immigration issues right now, as students, teachers, parents, and workers.

However, the fact of the matter is, some are willing to destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of Dreamers because of an action they had no control over. Would you want to throw out contributing members of society? Allowing the young Dreamers of DACA to continue thriving and advancing in society is pertinent in moving our country to the next level. Not everyone possesses an imminent threat to our livelihood, so providing assistance to the young who are here by chance is gracious.

‘Illegal immigration’ is a problem in America, but it should only be labeled as a problem if their presence poses a negative impact on society.

Dreamers, I believe you are here: the United States of America, and you should rightfully stay. This is your home.