DACA: The Dreamers share their voice


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is one of the most divisive issues in today’s political environment, according to latimes.com. President Barack Obama created the DACA policy June 15, 2012. DACA grants temporary legal status to undocumented immigrant youth brought to the United States by their parents, according to The New York Times. 
In September, Attorney General Mr. Jeff Sessions announced that President Donald J. Trump’s administration would rescind the act, according to CNN. Despite this, a six-month plan is giving Congress time to create a legislative solution that will allow undocumented immigrants who have abided by the policy to remain in the United States, according to CNN.
Under the DACA policy, the United States government offered protection to immigrants who arrived in the United States before the age of 16 and have lived there since June 2007. These immigrants are also known as “Dreamers,” a term which originates from the proposed Dream Act, a bill that was first introduced by members of the House of Representatives 16 years ago.
The proposed Dream Act offers legal status to “Dreamers” who either plan to attend an American college or join the United States military, according to CNN. Although Congress has not passed the Dream Act, Capitol Hill legislators are still attempting to do so.

Milton Flores, a Dreamer, stands with fellow Dreamers at a protest. Courtesy of washingtonpost.com.

Mr. Trump spoke to the public September 5 about terminating the DACA policy. If Congress removes this policy, it could create a fear of deportation for the young immigrants who are currently protected under it, according to The New York Times
In an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Sessions discussed his frustration with DACA, claiming that the policy reduces the amount of jobs available to legal United States citizens.
“[DACA] has denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs,” Mr. Sessions said, according to The New York Times. 
An illustration by Tom Bachtell, demonstrating the DACA protesters. Courtesy of newyorker.com.

On the other hand, these undocumented immigrants are a large factor in the United States’ economy and, therefore, their deportation could lead to an immediate decline in the United States’ economy, according to CNN. A study by center-right policy institute the American Action Forum found that if all undocumented immigrants were deported, there would not be enough American workers to fill the jobs they held, according to washingtonpost.com.
In an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Trump explained that although he plans to end DACA, he also recognizes the impact of the policy  on undocumented immigrants.
“I have a love for these people, and hopefully now Congress will be able to help them,” Mr. Trump said, according to The New York Times.
Mr. Trump voiced his support of the removal of DACA while Congress discusses approving the policy. Mr. Trump is continuing to discuss the topic of DACA with his administration in order to come up with a solution. 
Mr. Obama does not agree with Mr. Trump’s decision to end the policy. Mr. Obama went to Facebook to share his thoughts on what Mr. Trump and his administration had decided. 
“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,” Mr. Obama said, according to The New York Times.
Although Mr. Obama did not agree with Mr. Trump’s decision to end the policy, both Mr. Trump and Mr. Obama said it is now the responsibility of lawmakers to protect the young immigrants, according to The New York Times.
-Clementine Marcogliese, Staff Writer