Ending DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, should have come as no surprise to anyone. Trump made it clear throughout the campaign and into this presidency that he will govern with racist beliefs as his guide (together with alt-right advisors Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller). Trump spoke often and with blunder about the need to build a wall to stop the “rapists” and “drug dealers” that our southern neighbor sends to America, saying nothing of the doctors, lawyers, judges and many other intellectuals and hard working laborers who herald from Mexico. Trump also made it clear as a candidate that he thought DACA was “executive amnesty,” a reference to his skewed belief that DACA was unconstitutional and created illegally by former President Barack Obama.
DACA was designed to allow undocumented children brought to the United States by their parents to come out of the shadows and forge a life in the only country they’ve ever really known. To be sure, these children had to pass a federal background check (something many Trump supporters would be unable to do), be enrolled in school (or having graduated high school) and have a clean criminal record, among other things. Once registered, the recipients, known as Dreamers, were guaranteed by the federal government that they would not be arrested and deported for being in the country illegally. Every two years the Dreamers are required to file a renewal, pay a fee so they can continue to receive protection while contributing to society.
Over 800,000 DACA recipients were told on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 by President Trump that he was planning to end the program. In typical fashion, Trump simply told Congress to find a solution or he’d end DACA and push the 800,000 Dreamers back into the shadows to live with even greater fear of deportation (after all, the government now has all of their information, a requirement to enroll in the program). Within hours of the announcement, people across the country took to the streets to protest. Legal challenges from over a dozen state attorney generals have been filed and more are planned. There is no reason to punish children for something they had no control over. These Dreamers are brothers, sisters, neighbors and members of our community. They respond to emergencies as firefighters and engineer innovative new technology as part of corporations such as Google and Apple. In other words, they are contributors to society and not criminals. They deserve our support from the perspective of honoring basic human rights.
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