By Lydia Wight
Recently, President Trump introduced the idea of dissolving DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which protects some individuals who entered the country illegally as minors with their parents or as children for a certain period of time.
This decision has sparked some controversy throughout the country, as people are either in defense of DACA, or against it.
DACA, enacted in 2012, granted stay to about 800,000 undocumented child immigrants.
These children, referred to as “Dreamers”, went on to live productive lives. A large number are now students in college.
Many DACA recipients now have their own children—who are citizens automatically due to their birth in America. Concerns are raised about what would happen if the DACA recipients were deported. Families could be separated by this decision.
“These kids who fell under the DACA decision are law abiding, contributing members of our society in America,” said senior Brooke Lopez. “A lot of them are college students like me. I try to put myself in their shoes. I can’t imagine the stress that they’re under. Some of them are parents, and I would hate to see them taken away from their children.”
There were certain requirements for eligibility in the DACA program: Dreamers had to come to the U.S. before the age of 16, they had to have continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15th, 2007, they had to have completed or been enrolled in a high school, they had to pass a criminal background check, they had to prove that they were not a threat to public safety and they had to pay a fee of $495.
“Basically, I’m for legal immigration and I am completely opposed to illegal immigration,” said junior Greg Ferris. “I feel bad for the Dreamers who came here with their parents.”
Ferris expresses particular compassion for children of such a young age.
“Anyone who comes to America under the age of 5 should automatically be considered a citizen, because they had no choice,” said Ferris. “I don’t think the DACA should be completely repealed but it should be revised. They should be granted an easier path to citizenship. There has to be some give and take with immigration; we need a middle ground.”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “Memorandum on Rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)” rescinded DACA as of Sep. 5, 2017.
Some recipients will be allowed to renew their protection from deportation and their work permits before Mar. 5, 2018.
It also allows current recipients to continue their protection from deportation and work permits until their deferred action and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) expire.
“It’s entirely inhumane that children brought to the States as children could now face deportation,” said graduate student Kristen Dalia.
“For most of them it’s the only country they’ve ever known. I just think we need to be more compassionate as humans. The only thing this current administration is doing is increasing racial tensions.”
According to a survey by AOL, the majority of Americans believe that DACA recipients should be granted citizenship if they meet certain requirements.