On 5th September 2017, US President, Donald Trump, rescinded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA is a program that allowed undocumented immigrants, brought to the US as kids, to stay in the country. And the deadline for the same was set until March 5, 2018.
However, his efforts to end the DACA program have been blocked temporarily by the US Judge on February 13th, 2018. This ruling was similar to that of the first ruling in the California court, where the judge announced that the Trump administration cannot end the program and that it would end up going beyond March 5.
Here are 6 reasons why the DACA needs to be kept alive:
Because it involves playing with the future of lakhs of youth
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was launched by former President Obama in 2012. It was introduced to provide relief to immigrants who had arrived illegally in the US before the age of 16. It protects these teens from being deported and offers them education and work permit. Nearly 800,000 DACA received an approval under the program to go to school and work legally in the United States.
But after Trump’s decision, the first question that would strike your mind is now what? What about the dreamers who were protected under the program?
Repealing DACA could lead to their deportation and most certainly loss of jobs. Trump has given a period of 6 months to the Congress to come up with new immigration legislation. So the undocumented immigrants who have already been granted protection under DACA will not be affected until March 2018. Now the future of the immigrants lies in the hands of the Congress and whether they pass a new immigration policy or no.
DACA applicants too, contribute to the US economy
The decision to rescind DACA will impact not only the dreamers but also the US economy as it could amount to a loss of significant amount of taxpayers.
A study earlier this year by the Center for American Progress estimated that the loss of all DACA workers would reduce U.S. gross domestic product by $433.4 billion over the next 10 years. The DACA recipients with a high school degree pay the government $60,000 to $153,000 as taxes and those with a bachelor’s degree pay around $160,000 to $316,000 every year.
The unemployment rate in the US is 4.4 percent which means there’s a shortage of highly skilled labour. Repealing the DACA would shrink the economy as there would be fewer people in the workforce. Due to this, Mark Zuckerberg’s foundation, FWD.us, appealed to continue the DACA program. He was also supported by CEOs like Jeff Bezos, Satya Nadella, and Sundar Pichai.
Sensitive information of the Dreamers may be at a risk
At least 900 DACA beneficiaries are enrolled in the US military
As per the Pentagon, Trump’s decision to end DACA could have an impact on the military of US. About 900 undocumented immigrants who are protected under the program are serving the United States military. The Homeland Security spokesman Dave Lapan has expressed his concern over those Dreamers who – on active duty or under contract would no longer be eligible to serve the nation if the program is repealed.
The DACA beneficiaries are also a part of a Pentagon pilot project called Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest. The program ignored certain requirements pertaining to citizenship if a particular person has the necessary military skills for serving the nation. But however, the intake of this program too might become stricter with the new decision.
It might limit their access to educational programmes and scholarships
Under DACA status, students can fill Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This doesn’t allow them federal aid, but they could qualify for other financial aids such as private scholarships, aids offered by college or state. Repealing the benefits will mean the loss of education for many.
According to a research undertaken by Center for American Progress, 94 percent of respondents said that the program enables them to pursue educational opportunities they otherwise cannot.
Colleges currently do not disclose the number of undocumented students they enroll; therefore, it is difficult to draw hard facts. There are speculations about it being a sizeable number.
Legal and moral obligation
Beneficiaries of DACA are law-abiding citizens (as verified every 24 months) who pay their taxes, work hard every day and contribute to the American dream. They do not live off handouts. Repealing DACA will raise insecurities and fear in the community of deportation. This could also forcefully separate them from their families. These aren’t nameless faces, there are human beings involved.
The repealing of DACA, thus, eats away at core American values and causes losses in major domains. America could do with some Dreamers to strengthen their position as a World Leader.