The Dreamers

Micheal Space, Staff Writer

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Immigration is a controversial topic that has haunted the United States almost since its beginning. The latest topic in the immigration hot seat is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama era policy. The DACA policy allows young undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses, go to college, and pay taxes. In most cases DACA recipients or “Dreamers”, as they are called, are brought to America by their parents, who are hoping to find work. Now why would the DACA program be relevant now? President Donald Trump and his administration find this policy to be disenfranchising Americans who want to work. President Trump thinks that DACA is too detrimental to Americans and has already begun the process of nullifying the policy. DACA, apparently, is not a part of “Make America Great Again” (MAGA).Immigration is a controversial topic that has haunted the United States almost since its beginning. The latest topic in the immigration hot seat is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama era policy. The DACA policy allows young undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses, go to college, and pay taxes. In most cases DACA recipients or “Dreamers”, as they are called, are brought to America by their parents, who are hoping to find work. Now why would the DACA program be relevant now? President Donald Trump and his administration find this policy to be disenfranchising Americans who want to work. President Trump thinks that DACA is too detrimental to Americans and has already begun the process of nullifying the policy. DACA, apparently, is not a part of “Make America Great Again” (MAGA). This action has sparked many questions from Americans. Who can apply for DACA? Will dreamers be deported?  Do citizens have a say in the decision?  Why can’t dreamers become citizens? All of these are valid question and there are many more perfectly valid question on the minds of many citizens. Mr. Ottochian, a WVHS social studies teacher, states it best, “DACA is beyond just a political issue, it encompasses other facets such as economics and society.” Not just any undocumented immigrant can apply for the program. To apply, one must have arrived in the United States before 2007 and have been less than 16 years of age. DACA recipients can come from any country, a majority of Dreamers come from countries like Mexico (66.6%), Korea (2.7%), and Guatemala (5.2%), according to the Migration Policy Institute website. As of September 5th of this year, 787,580 applicants have been approved for Dreamer status under the program. To become a Dreamer one must  give proof of identity and go under biometric analysis. After these children achieve Dreamer status, they grow up to have respectable jobs or join the military. Now some are probably already asking, “What will happen to the near 800,000 Dreamers if DACA is repealed?” That is a very reasonable question. If  Congress does not act on the repeal of DACA then the Dreamers will be deported. As one might assume there are many Americans who are outraged by this. There also happens to be many Americans who will swear that this is the best thing for America. One side says “Make America Great Again”, the other says Dreamers are the ones who are doing that. On the topic of deportation, Collin Stanley a junior, said, “DACA is very important to many valuable Americans who do not deserve what the GOP and Donald Trump intend to do with them.”  Amongst this chaos there are some things that are irrefutable. Mainly the fact that if the Dreamers are deported, according to CNBC, the United States’ gross domestic product (GDP) will drop by $433 billion over the next ten years. It would also cost around 10 billion dollars to deport every Dreamer in America. However, citizens may have a say in the fate of the Dreamers. As previously mentioned, President Trump has given Congress six months to intervene. If citizens feel strongly about this issue, contact your congressman.  The most obvious answer in avoiding deportation would be to become a citizen. This is not as easy as most people seem to think it is. The citizenship process can take years. To become a citizen one must take a civics test, not move residence, not have any change in their job, and most generally acquire a lawyer to help with the process. The lawyer can cost over $7500. Also all of this is after one fills out forms that can take months alone to process. According to ABC News, one woman has waited over four years just to get a green card which does not grant you citizenship. There is no simple solution to DACA. This issue affects everyone. It affects Dreamers, immigrants, and citizens. Remember that Dreamers can be anyone. Dreamers can be your classmate, your friend, your relative. That Dreamer can be the future of America.

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The Dreamers