Close to home reactions to the repeal of DACA

haleyhilesWritten by: Ellie Harris

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA, was enacted by President Obama in 2012 as a way for certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive a sort of two year renewable visa as a period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.

The purpose of DACA is ultimately to protect eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. DACA doesn’t put participants on a track to legal permanent residency or citizenship, but it does allow them to get driver’s licenses, credit cards, and open bank accounts.

On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration formally rescinded, or announced the repeal of the program – though it delayed implementation for six months. Removing DACA removes over 800,000 people from the US workforce – as well as over 800,000 people from their friends, families, and the only country they’ve ever known.

“Repealing DACA would be almost stripping away people’s right to have a decent life. How is someone supposed to make a better life for themselves and their family if they aren’t even entitled to basic human rights?” junior Haley Hiles, who has family in both the United States and Mexico said.

According to the University of California at Berkeley’s “Post-Election Frequently Asked Questions” on its website, DACA will try its best to continue with the application process while funding lasts and want to work with students to create strategies with regards to both legal status and work authorization.

“If Congress does not come up with a legislation that gives DREAMers a pathway to citizenship, they could possibly face deportation. They would be deported to a country they don’t know anything about and be forced to leave a place they call home,” junior Stephanie Arellano said.

According to the American Immigration Council, 71 percent of eligible DREAMers – or people protected under DACA – are Mexican, 14 percent are from other countries in North and Central America and 6 percent are from South America.  

“This will have a very negative impact on immigrating families no matter what race but I do feel like it is mostly targeted at Mexicans,” Hiles said.

The main point of DACA and those who oppose its repeal is that these minors did not choose to move to this country- illegally or otherwise.

“These DREAMers came to the US at a young age and should not be punished for decisions they didn’t make,” Arellano said

Hiles agrees.

“These kids didn’t choose to come into the world or the United States, so why should the government punish them?” Hiles said.

About editor