DACA and its Repeal

Maya Brown, Staff Writer

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On September 5, President Donald John Trump decided to repeal The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program that allows almost 800,000 undocumented people who were not originally born in the United States to come to the U.S. with a work permit, without the risk of deportation. The people who are eligible for this program have to uphold certain requirements, making sure that students are or have pursued an education or skill and that they are free of felonies. The program expires after two years, but can be renewed. In a statement from Donald J. Trump released by www.whitehouse.gov, Trump will begin to terminate the protections of the program such as the permits by March, but they will be available up to 24 months, as he hopes Congress will act and provide a replacement.

For those who are not sure about how DACA can affect them, even people who are not directly associated to it can be financially injured by its repeal because of the huge economic consequences. According to the Center for American Progress repot and FWD.us report, a bipartisan group promoting policies for immigration reform, “An average of 30,000 people will be out of work each month if DACA is repealed.” This could put huge pressure on employers to fill these spaces and could also cost them billions of dollars. Although someone may not be directly affected by the repeal of DACA, the deportation of its recipients could put the economy in turmoil inciting a domino effect that can affect people all over the United States.

Although the majority of people being affected by this program are Latin American, 7.5 percent consists of Asian or Pacific Islander, African American, White, other, or people who chose not to answer according to unitedwedream.org.

Government teacher David Magana thinks that DACA offers opportunity to many and dislikes the image that is painted in the media of Latin Americans constantly fighting for citizenship, and the lack of representation of other ethnicities in immigration.

“They’re going to portray most of the people on television as Latin American. It does not matter what country they come from, they are all here for the same reasons,” said Magana. “For those who are here, who want to get ahead, they should be granted the opportunity no matter what country they came from.”

Some POLAHS’ students are directly affected by DACA such as senior and Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan or MEChA President Cynthia Soto who came to the U.S. under DACA when she was 2 years old.

“When I was first eligible for DACA, I knew that it was going to bring some sort of relief and protection. Over the years, it has helped me feel more comfortable and protected, because I know that there are many students like myself,” said Soto.

This program has helped students like Soto to achieve an education and establish great changes within their schools, but what will happen when their right to remain in the U.S. is revoked?

Some institutions have decided to take a stand against the repeal of DACA such as University of California San Diego, according to POLAHS’ alumni and current UCSD student, Maria Echeverria. “University of California San Diego (UCSD) issued a statement immediately following Trump’s questionable decision to rescind DACA, in which it offered empathy,  counseling, community services, and encouragement,” said Echeverria. “UCSD handled the situation very professionally in the sense that it sought to comfort those targeted and impacted by the ignorance of our current administration.” Although DACA has many positive sides to it, there are also many negative aspects as the act has been labeled a pardon for illegal immigrants that does not fully satisfy their needs, by many critics. It does not provide students with lawful status, and recipients must reapply every three years while not receiving federal benefits. DACA does not provide noncitizens with a process to becoming citizens, but serves as a temporary solution to the immigration problem that lures over the United States.

The repeal of DACA will have many negative holdings on the U.S. economy, but also does not provide stable citizenship for people seeking relief from deportation. It is up to America to choose a side and ultimately influence the fate of thousands of people.