“DACA is dead”


Photo Credit: Kate Casey

Trump announced that “DACA is dead” the day after Easter, blaming Democrats for blocking funding for his border wall. He agreed to work with Congress to make a new DACA plan if he received his funding, but rejected the six bipartisan proposals he was presented with.

by Kate Casey, Managing Editor

Nearly 700,000 immigrants are at risk of losing their jobs and homes as the government has failed to develop a plan to protect immigrants who illegally entered the United States as children.

Obama’s 2012 executive order, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA, protects recipients from deportation and provides them with work and study permits. DACA is available to illegal immigrants who arrived in the United States before age 16 and have no criminal status. These “Dreamers” must be in high school, have graduated, or recieved a GED, or be honorably discharged from the military.

After announcing that he was going to rescind DACA, Trump told Congress that he would work with them to formulate a new plan in exchange for funding for his border wall.

“If there is no Wall, there is no DACA. We must have safety and security, together with a strong Military, for our great people!” Trump tweeted.

Trump was presented with six bipartisan proposals from Congress, but rejected all of them.

But on April 2, Trump announced that he was done dealing with the inactive Congress, tweeting, “Daca is dead,” and “NO MORE DACA DEAL!”

Revoking DACA would leave 22,000 New Jersey residents without documentation, social security, driver’s licenses, and work permits.

Rita De Almeida is a majoring in Environmental Science at William Paterson University and graduating in May. She has lived in Newark since she left Portugal when she was nine.

Before Obama announced DACA in 2012, her parents planned to turn themselves in so De Almeida could get documentation. She was going to emancipate herself from her parents, claiming that her illegal immigrants were not “suitable parents,” become a ward of the state, and eventually be adopted by her neighbors.

DACA gave the De Almeida family the opportunity to live together safely.

As soon as DACA was enacted, Rita and her brother both applied and continue to renew every two years.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Americans band together to protest the lack of government action to protect Dreamers. DACA is program that protects immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children.

“If I didn’t have DACA, everything would’ve been so much harder. With DACA, you can pay in-state tuition in college. I wouldn’t have my driver’s license and my social security, and you need that for everything in this country,” she said. “DACA was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. Without it I wouldn’t be graduating soon.”

Now that the future of DACA is unclear, the relief she felt then has turned to the opposite.

“If Trump takes DACA away, it makes me very worried because mine is expiring in October. If I try to get a job and people see that my paperwork is expiring, why are they going to hire me?” De Almeida said. “I’m going to interviews and they see my paperwork and that I might not be able to work for too much longer.”

Not only will the repeal of DACA put people out of jobs, but it will hurt the nation’s economy.

New Jersey’s annual GDP would decrease by almost $1.6 billion and the nation would lose $460.3 billion of the GDP over the next decade.

If the government cannot compromise over immigration issues, this may be the future.

“My view on immigration is probably different than most immigrants. Yes, America is the land of opportunity, but at some point you’re going to have to hold it [the borders] down, you can’t just let everyone come in. But with DACA, on the other hand, it’s different because we didn’t have a choice coming here illegally. People that come here as kids already have so many hardships,” De Almeida said.