DACA: Why destroy the dream?


By: Brandi Nevarez

Amaris E. Rodriguez, Opinions Editor

More than 800,000 people across the nation held their breaths on Sept. 5. They waited for President Trump’s decision on whether or not he would be terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  As an American citizen and a Hispanic woman, I am not in favor of the decision to “wind-down” on the program.
DACA, a program set in place by former President Obama, allowed for undocumented immigrants who came into the United States as children to be able to have the ability to obtain work permits, go to school, and receive home mortgage loans among other amnesty benefits.
The program was set up for a specific group of immigrants nicknamed “Dreamers” after the Dream Act, in hopes of protecting those who had no say of coming to this country from immediate deportation.
The program was made eligible for those who were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012, and entered the U.S. before turning sixteen.
It is through this extensive qualification program that Dreamers debunk a myth set forth by President Trump that has gained popularity since the presidential race in 2016: that all undocumented immigrants are criminals. In order to apply for the program, an individual goes through an extensive qualification program.
They willingly submit themselves and risk their stay in the United States in order to try to obtain a “consideration for deferred action,” which would be valid for a period of two years and would have to be renewed.
In order to qualify for DACA, an individual must undergo a background check and cannot have a criminal record.
The fact that you can not have a criminal record, which is very often overlooked by those who oppose DACA, is extremely important in the topic of immigration.

Should the children of immigrants have to pay for the so-called “mistakes” their parents made?
The end of DACA would be doing just that. Terminating DACA would punish people who have grown up in this country. They are people who have received an education, worked, and started families in the United States. They genuinely consider themselves American.
The nearly 800,000 people who are DACAmented have found their lives full of uncertainty since the announcement. These DACA recipients are questioning their security at their schools, jobs and sadly even their homes. They have received educations, created businesses and given back to their community.
These communities, and the United States as a whole, will be affected if contributing members of society are ripped away from their lives and sent to foreign countries that most have never even visited. The United States stands to lose hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes over the next ten years as thousands of young immigrants would be leaving the workforce.
As a child of immigrants, regardless of my citizenship status, I support anyone who is pursuing a better future for themselves and their children.
A Dreamer is anyone who is fighting against all odds to better themselves and their family’s lives. Dreamers are the children of parents who wanted a safe life, an education, and a successful future for their children. This is something that should not be met with criminal charges or having their lives uprooted to countries they are not familiar with.
As an American citizen, I am saddened that our country has forgotten about the American dream. The same dream that drove millions of people from all over the world to pursue a better life in the United States. A dream that was built on values, hard work, and perseverance, all of which are qualities that Dreamers embody.