The word “immigration” in today’s society holds a negative connotation. Politicians and mainstream media use this title constantly. The Trump administration demonstrated its heinous intentions to denounce and deport immigrants within its mere 280 days in the White House. The administration’s anit-immigration intentions show through Trump’s proposed border wall and the travel ban.
President Trump has now shifted his political spotlight to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).The Obama administration created DACA in 2012. DACA gives undocumented immigrants protection from deportation. This protection is still only given out under strict guidelines. DACA then grants immigrants who pass the guidelines a legal working permit which must be renewed every two years.
DACA applicants, also known as Dreamers, have grown up in the states for most or all of their lives. They serve in armed forces, help as teachers and work as local business owners. They are essential to the infrastructure of the United States economy. Most of these Dreamers are not familiar with any country but America due to the fact that they immigrated so young.
By ending this program, the Trump administration will have the addresses and names of over 800,000 immigrants that will be made illegal pending the program’s termination. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are 1,267,834 approved applicants as of the end of June 2016. This has caused the population of Dreamers to fear the nation that has always been their home.
Here at the University of Georgia, these actions have caused an uproar among the community. Students and faculty have raised concerns and many gathered at the Arch last Monday in protest. Student-groups and organizations, such as the Young Democrats of UGA and the Undocumented Student Alliance (U.S.A.), have spoken out against these actions. Although parts of the community have expressed their support for DACA, we can not stop here. Let your congressmen and senators hear you. Call them and leave a short statement.
“There is so much hypocrisy in the GOP’s actions. They respond to abortion issues with Pro-life, respond to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement with ‘All lives matter’ and then they plan to deport thousands of children back to countries that are foreign to them, some of which are experiencing economic turmoil such as Venezuela,” said Ruth Pannill, the president of Young Democrats of UGA.
Former President Obama also released a statement on the issue, expressing his feelings and urging congress to save the lives of these young men and women.
“Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated,” Obama said. “It’s about who we are as a people and who we want to be.”
Taking away DACA will not “Make America Great Again.” During this administration, we have taken steps away from becoming a more perfect union.
The Red & Black publishes opinions from a number of contributors and staff columnists. Their opinions do not reflect the opinions of the editorial staff. The editorial staff is in no way involved with the opinion pieces published with the exception of editorials. Editorials are written by the editorial board consisting of the opinion editor, managing editor and editor-in-chief. Editorials are clearly marked EDITORIAL at the beginning. This article is from guest columnist Alec Pereira, a senior political science major.