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My Understanding of DACA and Why It Matters

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By Chris Leavenworth

 

DACA is a shining example of how ignorant I am about things that don’t directly affect me. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals—Obama’s policy that protects nearly 800,000 children of unauthorized immigrants in the United States from deportation and has allowed them to work here legally—was rescinded by President Trump and his administration earlier this month.

 

Without knowing any of the details, the emergence of this news just bounced right off me. I assumed whatever was happening to DACA, it couldn’t be good because Trump’s pushing for it. I don’t make this assumption often with politicians I disagree with, but anyone with a meager amount of objectivity can see almost everything Trump does is corrupt, egotistical and/or dangerous.

 

I simply can’t keep up with the hornet’s nest of reasons to be outraged, and it has resulted in a fatigue of news and anxiety. DACA, to me, was just something else I would have to process and make room for to stay current on the growing heap of things that matter.

 

About a week after having first heard about DACA, I finally reached some idea about what it was, who it affects, and why some Republicans feel like Trump is making the right call.

 

Here are some of the things I learned.

 

To apply for DACA status, immigrants had to be younger than 31 on June 15, 2012. They also had to have entered the country before the age of 16. These are young adults who have spent almost, if not entirely, their whole lives in the United States.

 

Those who favor Trump’s motion claim that Obama’s policy was unconstitutional due to it being pushed through as an executive order. Their argument is that immigration laws are unconstitutional if not handled directly by Congress. Still, no one seems too concerned that there’s currently no court ruling on the constitutionality of DACA.

 

If Congress fails to pass a bill in the next six months to protect DACA recipients, there will be at least 788,000 immigrants, authorized to work and residing in the U.S., with statuses set to expire. Mass deportations will force law-abiding, hardworking immigrants to refigure out their whole situations in a country they’ve never really established themselves in. The loss of DACA workers will reduce the United States GDP by more than $400 billon.

 

I’ve been reassured not to worry, that the benevolent and caring men in Congress will most certainly pass it.

 

Bearing in mind, the majority support Trump had from Congress and constituents on his disaster of a travel ban, and their utter disregard of the Constitution for the careless executive order…I’m not too hopeful. Remember, kids had their hands zip-tied, and families who lawfully lived in the U.S. were being detained overnight at airports without any warning upon returning home from a visit to their native countries.

 

Instead of receiving a fair trial, green card holders were handcuffed, had their social media accounts vetted, and were interrogated on their views of Trump. Still, polls suggest majority support for this executive order just earlier this year. I’m not too optimistic about support for DACA.

 

I honestly don’t know what the Constitution says on making immigration policy. For me, it’s not really that important. DACA was the right thing to do. I mainly appreciate the Constitution whenever it comes to protecting individual liberties, something that is threatened by lawmakers constantly.

 

Pulling the “Constitution card” when it serves an opportunity to possibly rip the rug out from under a large group of people is an obvious misplaced priority of our Constitution.

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