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DACA — The System Doesn’t Work

Randy Cai, Staff Writer

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DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is an immigration policy established during the Obama administration in June 2012. It allowed certain illegal immigrants to receive deferred action from deportation for two years (renewable) and also eligibility for a work permit. Immigrants are eligible for DACA if they were under age of 16 before July of 2007, be in high school or graduated from high school or have not convicted of a felony, a major misdemeanor, or three minor misdemeanors. DACA does not give immigrants a law status, a path to citizenship, or eligibility for welfare or student aid. To apply for DACA, immigrants must fill out several forms, provide legal documents to prove their eligibility, and pay a $495 fee. The reason why this policy was approved was because children of illegal immigrants had spent their entire lives living and going to school in the United States, so it was not their fault that their parents had moved to America illegally. Republican party leaders opposed this and voted to rescind this program because they say former President Obama did not have the power to ignore the immigration laws, or make new ones by himself. They say that some immigrants are bringing crime, violence, and terrorism to the United States, and that they are taking away jobs from American citizen workers. DACA has recently been in the media because our current President Donald Trump is giving Congress six months to decide on whether or not to make DACA permanent, or else he will make the decision himself to cancel it. Multiple prominent corporation CEOs such as Tim Cook (CEO of Apple) and Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook), have voiced their opposition to repealing DACA and deporting the dreamers.
One side of this argument is to repeal DACA because it provides illegal immigrants who should not be here in the first place with extra benefits at the expense of money provided by legal American tax-paying citizens. One primary argument to keep DACA is that the deportations would break up families and have children who have been here their whole lives leave. However, it was the parent’s decision to break the law by staying in America illegally, so they should face the consequences, just like a bank robber would face consequences, even though it might break up his family or have an impact on close people around him. In the real world, feelings and emotions should not be used as primary arguments. An immigrant should not be excused from their sentence just because people feel bad for them. Furthermore, immigrants from other countries take away jobs from legal American citizens. We should prioritize giving our citizens jobs so they can have a stable life, instead of giving these jobs to illegal immigrants.
However, whether or not to repeal DACA is just one problem in the larger and broader issue regarding immigration in general, and the need for immigration reform. There are 11 million undocumented immigrants, many of which do not pay income taxes, abuse public assistance and welfare programs, and some even participate in criminal activities such as the drug trade. Surprisingly, these immigrants are being sheltered, despite the many problems they bring into America. Sanctuary cities are those that shelter illegal immigrants mainly by not applying funds to enforcement of immigration laws. Many major cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, and Houston are sanctuary cities. It is not fair that American taxpayers are funding benefits for illegal immigrants (because these sanctuary cities still receive federal funding), who should not be here in the first place without legal citizenship status.
In response to this major issue, President Donald Trump proposed a merit-based immigration reform in August of 2017 called the RAISE act. The RAISE act would establish a skills-based point system, prioritize immediate family households, accept less refugees for permanent residence (50,000 annually), and try to minimize fraud. This would decrease poverty by ensuring that people coming in have skills and values to benefit the entire United States. This is a needed change. Currently, the United States only brings in about 5-12% of immigrants based on merit, compared to 60% from countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and our neighbor Canada. Immigration reform in the United States is essential because too many people are entering and overstaying, causing many problems for legal American citizens and society as a whole.

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The student news site of Huntington Middle School
DACA — The System Doesn’t Work