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DACA vs Trump Administration

Darwin Arias, Features Editor

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As many have heard, the DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, program, was ended by the Trump administration in September of 2017. The Obama-era program shielded 800,000 young undocumented immigrants, that were brought here as children, from deportation in the United States. The Trump administration gave Congress six months to pass legislation to provide an immigration deal, leaving the fate of these individuals at an uncertainty. As of September 2017, the Department of Homeland Security has stopped processing any new applications for the program, but has continued to renew permits until October 5th, 2017, (for a new two-year permit for those whose status expired by March 5th) , and agreed to not revoke anyone’s DACA status before its expiration.

Dreamers are young, have not committed a crime, know of no other place to call home, and are active members of our community. They are employed (over 90%), and pay taxes while still remaining ineligible for some of the government benefits to which citizens are entitled. According to www.brookings.edu, deportation of Dreamers will mean reduced productivity and reduced tax revenue at the federal, state and local levels; Dreamers pay as much as $2 billion annually in taxes. A recent economic analysis from the Center for American Progress found, “ending DACA would wipe away at least $433.4 billion from the U.S. gross domestic product” over the next decade. Furthermore, the average cost to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from arrest to removal of an undocumented individual is $12,500. “Deporting 800,000 Dreamers would cost the government nearly $10 billion…”. Every dollar spent to deport Dreamers is a dollar not spent enforcing immigration laws against individuals who knowingly and purposely entered the U.S. illegally, individuals engaged in drug or sex trafficking, and undocumented individuals committing serious felonies.

Undoubtedly, forthcoming will be a devastating impact on our own community. Although Mexico accounts for the majority of DACA recipients, several other countries contribute to numbers of DACA recipients, including: El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, Honduras, South Korea, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Philippines, India, and more. These DACA recipients are scattered throughout all 50 states, with New York in the top 5 states for highest number of recipients. As for now, no appeals court has yet ruled on the issue. However, many activists have already demonstrated their strong position over the repeal of DACA, as this repeal will have a profound impact on more than just DACA recipients. Yet, we should not lose hope that an immigration deal that suits the wants of both Democrats and Republicans will come about, and try our best to keep an open mind to impose policies that benefit these former DACA recipients who call the U.S. their home, as well as other immigrants who show no harm to our country, but have also contributed vastly to our growing community.

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