The relatively new country, United States of America was built by immigrants. The country was built on the bloodshed of Native Americans and the sweat of African Americans. Puritans originally moved to the new-found land to redeem religious freedom. Fast-forwarding a few centuries later; during the Obama era, Democrats put together a program for undocumented immigrants that were brought to the U.S. as children.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), according to The Wall Street Journal, protects over 800,000 young undocumented children from different countries. All DACA recipients came into the program when they were under the age of 16 and have resided in the U.S. ever since. DACA protects children from deportation and authorizes work permits. The program became a law through an executive order- meaning the order came directly from the president.
On the 5th September, President Donald Trump announced that he plans to removing the program and send the immigrants back home. He gave Congress six months to find an alternative, which both branches can compromise on, but this drastic decision has frightened loved ones and those that may be directly affected.
President Trump wants to remove DACA because he believes that it will have a positive impact on his border control. However, those in the program cannot commit any crimes and must be either at work or in education in order to remain in DACA. They are in no way causing any harm towards anyone and if they were, their crimes are punishable just like everyone else in the country.
Many political figures and humanitarians have urged those in the DACA system to renew their application before October 3rd so they can remain in America. I recognize that this is another representation of Trump’s xenophobia and we stand against his actions.
If DACA is removed many young people will have to go to countries they are unfamiliar with and start a new life. Some countries will not offer the same opportunities America did and this could potentially hinder their career growth.
According to Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, DACA saved a young lady by the name of Reina Guevara from sexual harassment. At the age of 11, Reina left El Salvador and worked under the table for an employer who was sexually harassing her. Being an undocumented immigrant, Reina couldn’t speak up to defend herself. She left her job and signed up for DACA; now she is studying for her bachelor’s degree. DACA gave her a voice again and assured her that being in a foreign land doesn’t mean you must accept mistreatment.
The Land of the Free used to accommodate to immigrants. America was the place that welcomed all and allowed people to pursue whatever dreams they had. President Trump is trying to strip this form of liberty away from people and separate families. America has come so far in forms of inclusion and President Trump and the Republicans are trying to reinstate an ethnocentric system. I do not condone this nor will we accept this. If Trump’s ancestors, who were immigrants, can make a way for themselves, then everyone else can too. Race, religion, sexuality and a person’s income should not differentiate them from the next man.
If you’re a part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, please make sure you renew your application to ensure your stay in America is permanent.
Written by Tolu Sarah Martins