Approximately 690,000 young people were actively enrolled in the DACA program on the day that Trump decided to rescind it, according to U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services. The program has worked with over 800,000 people in its lifetime.
That’s at least 690,000 people who now are terrified of being deported to a country they’ve never or barely known—690,000 of our friends, classmates, doctors, teachers, programmers, laborers, and entertainers.
Trump’s reasoning for rescinding the program is that Obama overstepped his powers and created a law that Congress had blocked.
“There can be no path to principled immigration reform if the executive branch is able to rewrite or nullify federal laws at will,” Trump said in his official statement.
I can understand that logic, but I also think that you have to consider the circumstances.
Basically nothing Obama proposed was going to get through Congress. Obama’s administration was met with roadblock after roadblock by Senate and House Republicans and an almost childish resistance to anything he had to say.
Republicans in Congress had a temper tantrum over Obamacare. But even after gaining control of every branch of government, they are unable to pass anything better, or anything in general.
Therefore, Obama’s use of his executive power in passing the DACA program was justified. Obama saw and heard these young people’s voices and took action to protect them when political rivalries and biases got in the way. Young people whose entire lives are in the U.S. were able go to college and get jobs with a certain degree of security.
Even if you do think that Obama overstepped his powers by creating DACA through executive order, the fact that Trump rescinded the program without a concrete replacement is cruel.
Trump has passed the baton to Congress to try to pass something similar. But I do not have much faith in this polarized Congress, especially because they only have six months to pass a new version before permits start to expire.
Immigration is a very complex issue, and there are so many widespread opinions that I am not sure where the common ground is in Congress. Democrats and Republicans are divided, but there is also a major rift in the Republican party that has made it difficult for anything to get done, as seen with the healthcare bills.
Even though Trump’s intention may not have been to immediately deport all Dreamers, it feels like he took away their life raft and left 700,000 young people treading water with the promise of a floaty to come in six months. I can’t imagine how it would feel to have your future so uncertain.
But Dreamers, we are with you. In a poll by ABC News, it shows that 86% of Americans support the DACA program. DACA is not going down without a fight.
Call and email your representatives and demand DACA legislation. The future and welfare of thousands of young people in America is more important than the petty political differences in our Congress.
On Sept. 4, President Trump announced via Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program would be rescinded. This program, brought about by President Obama via executive order, protected young people throughout the country who came to America illegally with their families. Members of this program, called Dreamers, are permitted to stay and work in the United States for renewable two-year periods.
Reported by Emma Lindberg