On a college campus, there are a ton of different political views, which can be a great thing. However, often times college-aged kids tend to jump into political debates and throw around their uninformed opinions without doing research and educating themselves on a topic beforehand, making them sound extremely unintelligent. So before you go ranting about how you think Trump is “evil” (Washington Post) for kicking out all these people, take a minute to read the facts and form an educated opinion.
On September 5th, President Trump issued a statement regarding the current status of DACA. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is an immigration policy that was set in place through executive order by the Obama Administration on June 15th, 2012. Upon meeting the eligibility requirements, applicants can request deferred action for a two-year period, and receive benefits such as work permits and college enrollment. Referred to as “dreamers,” the children this policy intends to protect are, in fact, not children anymore. In order to be eligible, applicants must have been younger than 31 as of June 15, 2012, and must have come to the United States before the age of 16.
That means that despite what the media has done to make it seem as though DACA is protecting thousands of innocent little children, it actually is currently protecting about 800,000 individuals from the ages of 15-36. In his statement, he justified the reasoning for the decision to end the policy by noting that officials from ten states are attempting to sue the federal government on the basis that DACA is unlawful and unconstitutional and cannot be defended in court because of the way it was originally implemented back in 2012; “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. His plan is to have a gradual phase-out of the policy, not an abrupt, immediate ending. He said the Department of Homeland Security will begin a “wind-down” that will cause as little disruption as possible. The official website for DACA is no longer accepting applications, but will continue to honor existing ones for a full two years as of September 5th. Essentially, Trump has given congress about six months to come up with a better, more permanent, and legal solution to this issue, because work permits will begin to expire after that six months.
Towards the end of his statement, Trump reiterated the point that although we are a country with opportunities to help others who are less fortunate, we are American citizens first. And with that comes the responsibility of taking care of our fellow Americans, the same way we are trying to take care of immigrants. He noted how decades of failing to enforce immigration laws has lead to severe consequences for U.S. citizens such as lower pay wages, higher unemployment rates, heavier burdens on our hospitals and school systems, and increased dangers of criminal activity, all of which cost billions of dollars for taxpayers, saying, “few in Washington expressed any concern for the millions of Americans victimized by this unfair system. Before we ask what is fair for illegal immigrants, we must also ask what is fair to American families, students, taxpayers, and job-seekers.” He concluded his statement by saying we must find a way to fix the immigration issue with compassion, while remaining within the bounds of the lawful democratic process, while also guaranteeing that any reform on immigration provides lasting benefits for American citizens.