DACA is about everyone, not just immigrants

EZEKIEL MASCUILLI/THE ARKA TECH ASHLEY BUTLER/THE ARKA TECH

“On Sept. 5, the Department of Homeland Security initiated the order ly phase out of the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DHS will provide a limited, six-month window during which it will consider cer tain requests for DACA and applications for work authorization, under specific pa rameters.”
– U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

On June 15, 2012, then President Obama signed a memorandum that created DACA allowing children of unauthorized immigrants who are 16-yearsold and under to obtain a legal two-year stay in the country with options to renew. On Jan. 25, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order (No. 13,768), which established new immigration enforcement policies. From this executive order and a letter from the Attorney General on Sept. 4, the DHS declared that the DACA program would be terminated as of Sept. 5.

“Department of Homeland Security personnel shall take all appropriate actions to execute a wind-down of the program,” DHS said.

We do not agree this should happen. We need the university, this community and this state to stand up for the rights of children who have grown up American, who have had their foundation of life built in America and who have become a part of our society.

Stories have circulated in various news and entertainment outlets about adults being deported back to their countries of birth, and they have no clue how to live, speak the language and have no family. Now let us picture a child under the age of 16 being put in the same situation. That is not a life we would wish on anyone, let alone a child.

Now we understand that some of these children have grown up since 2012 and are still here in the U.S. on DACA and given authorization to work. However, some are not yet 16, and once a DACA is expired they are considered “unlawfully present” in the U.S.

There are almost 63,000 people who have submitted request for renewal leaving almost 800,000 without even a chance to stay. There are 800,000 young people lives balanced on the edge of deportation.

We do not care what ethnicity, what gender, what age or what nationality you are—we care that you want to be Americans. We care that a nation, founded by immigrants, expanded by immigrants and is currently filled with descendants of immigrants, is open and welcoming to those who want a better life.

There are other circumstances that make it hard for any country to take on numerous immigrants at once but the children of DACA have been slowing coming to America to find and make a better life for them and for us as our founders once did.

We can’t fault them for wanting what we have. We aren’t losing anything because they are here. Now some have said “They are taking things from us; we are losing jobs because of them; and they are taking up all our government resources in assistance programs.” These accusations are false.

The jobs they are taking are jobs no one wants, mostly. For example, last year a Cornell University professor led a research group that produced a 550-page report and found “little to no negative effects on overall wages and employment of native-born workers in the longer term.” They also reported “high-skilled immigrants, especially in technology and science, … have spurred innovation, helping to create jobs.”

DACA recipients are not eligible for government assistance. In fact, most DACA recipients have to fill out three different government forms, and have to pay $465 in filing fees every two years. The only way they don’t have to pay the fee is if they are in foster care, they are homeless, they have a chronic disability or $10,000 in medical expenses, and, not or, they have to be 150 percent below the poverty level. Basically they have to be starving and almost dead not to pay the fee.

DACA recipients want to be here, work hard and pay their dues, why would we not want that kind of person to stay here?

We feel that by taking away DACA we are losing a piece of our country because they have become our neighbors, our friends, our allies and the government has now made them a number with a ticking expiration date.

DHS is reviewing each individual on a “case-by-case” request and will reject any “not accepted by the Department as of October 5, 2017.” The DHS says it “Will continue to exercise its discretionary authority to terminate or deny deferred action at any time when immigration officials determine termination or denial of deferred action is appropriate.” They are setting generic terms and parameters to give themselves power to reject or terminate DACA recipients as they see fit.

Help us fight to keep DACA, to keep our Americans in America, to save 800,000 lives. Contact your local representatives and let them know you support DACA.

If you want to share your side of the issue we would love to hear your story, write us an email at arkatech@atu.edu.