Donald Trump moves to end DACA program in 6 months
The Dreamers were America's most beloved category of immigrants. Protected under President Barack Obama in 2012, 'Dreamers' were immigrants under the age of 31 who lacked legal immigration status. Their deportation was to be deferred, giving them the chance to acquire work or student visas, and other ways to stay in the United States.
Today, there are 787,580 undocumented immigrants who have been granted 'Dreamer' status. They must have been in the United States prior to turning 16 years old, and must have been in the country since June of 2007. Today, they are mostly between 15 and 36 years old.
These are young people who have been given a chance to live in the US despite lacking proper documentation, after undergoing a background check and being approved... at least, until now.
President Trump has declared that he will repeal DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. In six months, those 787,580 people, mostly millennials, most of them Latin American, will be deported.
Donald Trump said:
"I do not favour punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognise that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws."
Remember: everything before the word 'but' is a lot less meaningful than what comes after it. Of course, there is the letter of the law and the spirit of the law.
On Facebook, former President Barack Obama posted an impassioned commentary on Trump's decision:
"To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating – because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel. What if our kid’s science teacher, or our friendly neighbor turns out to be a Dreamer? Where are we supposed to send her? To a country she doesn’t know or remember, with a language she may not even speak?
"Let’s be clear: the action taken today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision, and a moral question. Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us. They are that pitcher on our kid’s softball team, that first responder who helps out his community after a disaster, that cadet in ROTC who wants nothing more than to wear the uniform of the country that gave him a chance. Kicking them out won’t lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone’s taxes, or raise anybody’s wages."
#DACA was also trending on Twitter, where countless users chimed in to voice their distaste for Trump's decision:
Surely, every nation is entitled to its immigration laws. It is an incredibly kind thing to allow the children of undocumented immigrants to stay in the country without their paperwork. But that's the thing - America is supposed to be different. We're supposed to be the country that will take in undocumented children instead of deporting them. We're not like other nations. Right?
However, President Trump is opposed by a good number of Republicans, as well as most Democrats. His decision is exceptionally brutal - but it's not like we didn't see it on the horizon.
For almost 800,000 Americans, the next six months will be one of chaos, and the need to start a new life. At the very least, the dreamers have known since November that DACA was likely to end, and have hopefully been ready. ICE deportations have grown more and more militant, and only time will tell how exclusionary the United States will become.