Ending DACA would not only be ‘cold,’ as Trump phrased it, it would be costly, writes Jordyn Croft-Goeken.
Eight hundred thousand undocumented children have been protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, commonly known as DACA, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
This program, which was enacted under President Obama, has been very controversial and debated, especially in the last two years.
But what are the true facts? First off, to receive DACA protection, the immigrant has to have been younger than 16 when brought to the country, have a clean criminal record, and be enrolled in high school, college, or serve in the military.
The original “DACA” program was called the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, which is where “Dreamer” comes from.
After being proposed in 2001, many varying forms were presented to Congress. It was closest to passing in 2010 when the House of Representatives passed it, but the Senate fell five votes short. Five votes that decided to keep these 800,000 lives in limbo.
Two years later, Obama created the DACA policy — “illegally” many would say — with an executive order.
Current President Donald Trump has followed through on his campaign promise to end DACA on the basis that, as U.S. Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, said, “President Obama did not have the authority to create DACA; only Congress could establish such a program. I applaud President Trump for respecting the Constitution.”
While I understand the disapproval, I disagree. Remember that Congress has had 16 years with the DREAM Act in their hands, and yet here we are with hundreds of thousands of children and young adults with the fate of their future swaying in front of them.
When asked if he would deport the Dreamers, Trump responded with “Look, it sounds cold. It sounds hard…” That’s because it is. It is cold and hard to take these kids and young adults out of their home — 3,132 are from Idaho, a place they have called “home” since childhood — and place these law-abiding residents into completely unknown countries.
They have lived, studied and worked alongside us. They have grown up in this culture and community and it would be wrong to force them to leave all this behind and adjust to new lifestyles and languages.
“They shouldn’t be very worried,” said President Trump when asked about the fate of the Dreamers, but it’s Trump and it’s Congress. Again.
With that said, it is important for everyone to look at DACA with the facts that show it has been a remarkable program with incredible kids and it would cost at least $283 billion to end DACA, according to the right-leaning Cato Institute and as much as $460.3 billion according to the left-leaning Center for American Progress.
It is also equally, if not more, important to look with compassion, with the mindset that these could be your own kids, family or friends.
Is ending DACA really doing anything but showing xenophobia? Is it such a difficult idea to process that people would break the law for the safety and well-being of their children and family?
Wouldn’t you do the same?
Jordyn is currently a junior at Compass Academy. She spends her free time stressing about politics, listening to musicals, watching movies, with family, and with or talking to her friends, who would be lost without her.