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Donald Trump may not renew the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which protects 800,000 student immigrants.
A permanent policy to protect immigrants who grew up in the United States has been a long time in the making, with proposals dating back to the year 2001. DACA was not passed until June 2012 during Barack Obama’s presidency. The DACA program protects people who were brought into the country as young children, also known as the “Dreamers”. The intent of the policy is to provide these people with a chance to build a life and obtain an education and a job without the fear of getting deported.
Christopher Decker, Woodland civics teacher, knows if the program is eliminated that those who are protected by the plan would lose health insurance, not be allowed to continue their education in the United States, and even lose their jobs.
“The original intent of the law was to raise these 800,000 child immigrants to become American citizens,” said Decker, “to become contributing members, and become a part of the American culture.”
Donald Trump seems to be conflicted by the implementation of the “Dream” Act. Currently, the “Dreamers” are immigrants who are afforded some protection by United States law from prosecution. DACA is a policy that defers deportation against an immigrant for a certain period of time, but it does not provide immigrants lawful status. According to the “Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security”, in order to request DACA, a person must be under the age of 31 as of June 15 2012, had to be in the United States before reaching the age of 16, and have no criminal record. Immigrant students who are in high school, college, or working can seek DACA protection for up to two years, and can request DACA renewal for additional periods of time. However, this law that provides the government with flexibility when it comes to deporting “Dreamers” conflicts with our new president’s promise to deport any illegal immigrants. As a result, a problem has sparked.
Some of those who voted for Trump based on his tough illegal immigration stance may be upset because they voted for a president who promised in his 2016 platform that, “Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation — that is what it means to have laws and to have a country.”
While Trump initially opposed immigrants who come to America without following the proper process stating that they are take jobs away from the Americans, he seems to be softening on this statement.
President Trump may not be as strict on illegal immigration right now and Decker has an idea why.
“President Trump is being pushed in a couple of different ways– some Republicans want to be very strict on immigration and others do not,” said Decker. “That’s why it’s so hard to make a decision.”
Now Donald Trump is tweeting that the dreamers are educated and accomplished young people and he does not want to deport them.
With that, he has left the decision to Congress.
Not everyone is satisfied with the decision being left to Congress and think that the policy should be kept in place.
Cassandra Quayson, Woodland student believes the policy should be kept in place.
“I think that Congress should keep the DACA policy in place,” Quayson explains, “because it is cruel and inhumane to take away so many opportunities from hundreds of thousands of dreamers who contribute positively to our society and benefit our economy.”
Quayson concerns come from the fad that many DACA recipients came here as kids and most are contributing members to the American society. They are educated and productive.
“Regardless of how you feel about illegal immigrants,” noted Quayson, “these kids had no choice in where they would be born and they shouldn’t be sent to countries they’ve never known.”