This summer at my internship at a law firm, I met a Hispanic woman who was applying for citizenship because she needed psychological care after being assaulted by an American man. This woman worked as a housekeeper, paid taxes and testified against a dangerous criminal who had abused several women, helping to put him in jail. Now this woman and her three daughters who she brought to America nearly a decade ago in search of a better education, are in danger of being deported. Due to her experience, she would most likely be granted citizenship and under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act (DACA), passed under the Bush administration, her daughters would have two years to be heavily vetted and obtain resident status.
This program is in danger with President Donald Trump’s goal of cancellation. Current “Dreamers,” the term for those protected by DACA, will retain their two-year permits and can renew them as long as they apply by October 5, so this woman’s children will not be deported immediately. Trump, after encouragement from Nancy Pelosi, made this clear in a tweet.
For all of those (DACA) that are concerned about your status during the 6 month period, you have nothing to worry about – No action!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 7, 2017
However, this is not enough. If DACA is not extended, current and future immigrant children who have not applied for the two-year permit are in danger of deportation. Although Trump’s executive order to rescind DACA failed, the future of the program is still up in the air. The decision will go to Congress, where Democrats hope to pass a comprehensive immigration bill including DACA or a similar program. Republicans do not want the bill to go to Congress and allow the bill to phase out by March 2018 at the latest because the issue will divide the party.
These children are American. They deserve to have the right to education, jobs and a life that will allow them to further this country. They are making this country a better place (for those concerned, the intense vetting process ensures those with criminal records are not eligible for the program). They are not “stealing” anything from citizens. In fact, a Center for American Progress study concluded that the gross domestic product stands to decline $460.3 billion if DACA ends. This country cannot afford to lose the Dreamers, who will only better the future of the United States.
To contact your senator and stand up for DACA, text “RESIST” to 504-09.
Story by Morgan Fisher – Business Manager
Photo provided by Flickr