THE END OF DACA: TRUMP’S EXECUTIVE ORDER AGAINST ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
POSTED SEPTEMBER 7, 2017 | BY RAMIRO ALEXANDER-DUCHESNE
This past Monday, September 4, 2017, Trump decided to issue yet another executive order. Just last week Trump signed the executive order to re-militarize the police force. This week, Trump has signed an executive order that will bring an end to the DACA program.
What is DACA? The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was put into place by former President Barack Obama in 2012. DACA was created to ensure that minors who were brought to the United States illegally would be protected from deportation. DACA also allows illegal minors to work in the states legally once they are of age.
Since the program was enacted five years ago under the Obama administration, DACA has protected nearly 800,000 Dreamers. The majority of the 800,000 Dreamers who benefitted from the DACA program face losing their jobs, losing their education, and ultimately deportation.
The U.S. Faced a lawsuit from 10 Conservative and Republican state attorneys general who claimed that President Obama’s decision to enact the DACA program was unconstitutional. In response to this lawsuit, Trump decided to end the DACA program.
The fact that Trump is able to end the DACA program with relative ease is unnerving to many people. Surveys showed that the majority of people who voted for Trump also supported his stance on illegal immigration. But, even some Trump supporters disagreed with his mission to crack down on illegal immigration.
In fact, many surveys showed that the majority of the people surveyed, both Democrats and Republicans, and both Trump supporters and opposers, supported the DACA program. Many of the DACA supporters expressed that they believe all illegal immigrants should have the right to apply for citizenship.
Even the business and education communities are exhibiting their support for the program. These two sectors in particular have attested to the contribution that DACA beneficiaries have made to society as a whole. With support like this, it would seem likely that the president would be prevented from enacting an executive order against the program.
There are still the select few, however, who are completely against the program. Despite the overwhelming support of the DACA program, it is the aforementioned select few who are in the position of power to determine the fate of the program.
Trump blames former President Barack Obama for the creation of the DACA program and is now calling on Congress to bring about change. Through statements that Trump has made in regards to terminating the DACA program, he has said, “I have a love for these people [DACA beneficiaries] and hopefully now Congress will be able to help them do it [become legal citizens] properly.”
Trump has also determined that it would be more “compassionate” to allow Congress to gradually end the program instead of abruptly abolishing DACA. Trump’s administration has also stated that if a DACA beneficiary’s status ends in the next six months, then their permit will be renewed ensuring that they will be able to continue working and/or attending school.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a statement where he expressed that the DACA program has hurt the American people. According to CNN, Sessions stated that the DACA program “...has put our nation at risk of crime, violence and even terrorism.” Since the Trump administration has been under heavy scrutiny being deemed compassionless toward illegal immigrants, Sessions stated, “The compassionate thing is to end the lawlessness, and enforce our laws.”
The Trump administration argues that ending the DACA program and “Enforcing the law saves lives, protects communities and taxpayers, and prevents human suffering.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions makes no haste to withhold the Trump administration’s sentiment on illegal immigration.
In a rare stated rebuttal, former President Obama stated that “The action today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision, and a moral question.” President Obama continues by saying, “Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten this group of young people.”
Former President Barack Obama concluded his statement against ending the DACA program by saying that ending DACA will not benefit the American people. Obama argued that the deportation of illegal immigrants will not lower unemployment, it will not raise wages, nor will it reduce taxes. Finally, Obama stated that the debate over the continuation of the DACA program “...is about basic decency.”
It is now up to Congress to find a solution. The issue now, is that Congress seems to be divided. While some Congress officials are racing against the March 5, 2018 deadline, which is when DACA beneficiaries lose their status, to ensure that law abiding Dreamers can remain in the country, other Congress officials support Trump’s decision. Some Congress officials feel as though former President Obama erroneously amended the United States’ immigration laws, and are looking to Trump for a swift remedy.
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