By Victor Porcelli
DACA, which stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a policy enacted by President Obama on June 15, 2012, which grants individuals meeting certain requirements temporary safety from deportation.
Applicants are required to have been under 16-years of age upon their arrival, been in the country for at least five years, graduated from high school or in school presently, not received any felony or significant misdemeanor charges and determined not to be a threat to national security or public safety.
Earlier last week, President Trump issued a statement about his intentions to repeal DACA, claiming that it has caused a “massive surge of unaccompanied minors . . . young people who would become members of violent gangs throughout our country” and that “only by the reliable enforcement of immigration law can we produce safe communities, a robust middle class and economic fairness to all.”
The requirements of DACA specifically prevent any of those who committed a crime, or who are even seen as a threat, from being granted deferred action, the protection rewarded under DACA is completely discretionary and can be revoked at any time. Deferred action simply means that one will not be removed for now, is authorized to work and is not considered illegally present in the U.S. while the deferred action is in effect. If one commits a crime or some other offense, this deferred action can be immediately revoked. Thus, the vast majority of those currently under the protection of DACA are lawabiding, employed citizens. Contrary to popular belief, this employment does not come at a cost to nativeborn workers as there is little evidence supporting such a claim.
DACA has provided many people who were brought into the U.S. independent of their own free will, who have lived here for years, with an opportunity to stay in the country and be productive members of society. DACA does not provide a clear path to citizenship, but it has allowed for qualified people to get jobs and make money that accurately represents their education and training. A survey done by the Center for American Progress showed that the average salary of recipients of deferred action rose from $10.29 per hour to $17.46 per hour. Many advocates for immigration equality had been waiting years for such a policy, and have been outspoken in their outrage since President Trump’s declaration of his intention to repeal it.
President Trump has received a lot of backlash over his attempt to dismantle a policy Obama had left in place.
As reported by America Magazine, Pope Francis declared that “[President Trump] presents himself as pro-life, and if he is a good pro-lifer; then he understands that family is the cradle of life and its unity must be protected.”
Mark Zuckerberg updated his social media status, stating that “We need a government that protects ‘Dreamers.’”
As he and other business executives joined together to express their dissent. Certain states, such as Maryland, California and Minnesota moved to sue President Trump over his decision, referencing the fact that repealing DACA would create a very difficult situation for the 800,000 or so people who are currently under its protection.
DeSales released its own statement, rejecting President Trump’s decision. The school cites its Catholic values, and the belief of “the dignity of all people regardless of their natural origin or current citizenship.”
The statement went on to defend “Dreamers” as young immigrants who are not responsible for their current situation and their parents as people seeking a better life for their family.
Another point that DeSales made was that “DACA has allowed these young immigrants to reap the benefits of an education that they may otherwise never have experienced,” which in turn allows them “to step outside of the cycle of poverty and become working and contributing members of American society.”
President Trump responded to this outcry by meeting with Democrats on Wednesday, Sept. 13, and coming to a deal agreeing to not only prevent the repeal of DACA, but make it into law in return for heightened border security.
Following his agreement to raise the debt ceiling, this is President Trump’s second deal with the Democrats. The deal did not include a wall funded by Mexico. President Trump seemingly does not plan to make good on his campaign promises, which included repealing DACA and building the wall.
Instead, President Trump is perhaps responding to his 38% approval rating, which marks an extremely low rate for a president in their first year.