DACA: What is going on?

WHAT IT IS

  • September 5, 2017: President Trump ordered a winding down of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
  • DACA is an immigration policy established by an Obama administration executive order, in response to Congress’s inability to pass immigration reform for over a decade.
  • DACA shields young undocumented immigrants, or “dreamers”, from deportation. There are about 800,000 immigrants who are protected under DACA.
  • President Trump called on Congress to pass immigration reform in six months before he phases out DACA in March.

WHY IT MATTERS

This is another repudiation by the Trump Administration of an Obama era executive order. The full rescinding of DACA could have a large impact on many young immigrants in the U.S. who have not lived anywhere else. This decision falls in line with President Trump’s campaign promises and puts pressure on a highly divided Congress to come up with a solution.

  • “America was built by immigrants”

    • Pro economy:   Many economists agree that DACA-eligible immigrants benefit the U.S. economy, with some estimating a loss of over $460.3 billion to the economy over the next ten years if DACA workers are gone.
    • Broken system:   The government should not be working to punish young immigrants, but working to fix the broken immigration system.
    • Not at fault:   This largely affects younger immigrants who had no influence on immigrating to the United States because they were too young to have a say.
  • “America is a nation of laws”

    • Legislation:   Placing the responsibility on Congress to pass a law protecting DACA recipients creates a long term immigration solution rather than an executive order.
    • More competition:   DACA allows more illegal immigrants in the United States and makes it more competitive for natural born citizens to find jobs.
    • Inevitable:   Nine Republican state Attorney Generals threatened to sue to halt DACA immediately, so this allows DACA immigrants more time to find a solution.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • President Trump, after declaring the phase out of DACA, claimed that “dreamer recipients” have nothing to worry about.
  • Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, promised a legislative answer to President Trump’s DACA decision.
  • Pope Francis urged President Trump to reinstate and view DACA as “pro-life”.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Here is a New York Times article on different views of the DACA decision.
  • Here is the eligibility requirements for DACA recipients.
  • Is President Trump abusing the executive order privilege, or following in Obama’s footsteps?