Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an administrative relief from deportation. The purpose of DACA is to protect eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. DACA gives young undocumented immigrants protection from deportation, and a work permit. The program expires after two years and is subject to renewal. Currently there’s over 3.6 million recipients that are being affected with the new administration changes. This young people are facing deportation by early March if they can’t receive protection from DACA anymore. One of the temporary nature of DACA is that it puts a short-term Band-Aid on the larger immigration problem. With estimates of 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, many politicians are advocating for comprehensive immigration reform. Programs like DACA fix the imminent problem without fixing the larger problem by holding noncitizens in a legal status limbo.
Why should DACA be shut down? One of the reason many don’t want to support this protection towards immigrants it’s because it is giving out the wrong message to other countries. That it’s okay to migrate to America because you won’t be sent back if caught. This just currently happened in 2013-2014 we had a 90% increase of children crossing to the US from Mexico and Central America because it has long been driven by economic difficulties and violence in home countries and the recent spike of gang and drug-related violence in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras has increased the flow of migrants from those countries. Many critics of the Obama administration is blamed due to a point, as US policy has allowed newly arrived undocumented people to stay without the fear of deportation.
Why should the U.S continue to protect DACA recipients? A recent study found that the average age of DACA participants at the time they arrived in the U.S. was only 6.5 years of age. The likely effect of deporting one of them to Mexico, El Salvador is only modestly less harsh than deporting an otherwise comparable native-born American there. Some 25 percent of DACA recipients have U.S.-citizen children. For obvious reasons, those children are likely to suffer considerable harm if their parents are subject to deportation. There are around 800,000 undocumented young immigrants using the DACA program. After obtaining an education, these immigrants are entering the workforce, buying goods, pursuing higher educations to get better jobs to make more money, paying taxes, and becoming entrepreneurs. These actions have helped grow the United States’ economy, benefiting them and you. A study by the Center for American Progress has “calculated that ending DACA would wipe away at least $433.4 billion from the U.S. gross domestic product, or GDP, cumulatively over a decade.” Ending DACA would have a drastic negative effect on the economy, which would directly harm the average American’s economic well-being.
These young people are the best young people in our country. They represent less than 8% of undocumented immigrants in America. They walk the straight and narrow path. They’ve paid hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars in fees. They regularly complete paperwork and attend check-in appointments. They obey the law. They, of all people, should be given reasonable, humane protections from our government.