On September 5, 2017, our hearts broke again as President Donald Trump ordered the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. The announcement was made by Attorney General, Jeff Sessions and will affect around 800,000 young adults who were brought to this country illegally. The DACA program was put into effect under the Obama administration and has protected these young adults from fear, as well as given them the opportunity to work and support themselves. To qualify for this program, a recipient must have been brought to the United States before June 2007, have remained in the country since, and have no criminal record.
This latest move by the Trump Administration has been devastating. It brought back the fear, anger and shock we all felt the day he was elected as our next president. As a first generation American myself, with close family members who are part of the DACA program, I was extremely fearful of what’s to come. Although the program does not formally end until the next 6 months, recipients are already feeling the pressure.
One of the reasons behind this decision, according to Mr. Sessions, was that these 800,000 people are stealing jobs from Americans and lowering wages. Over social media and other platforms, some Americans are agreeing with the decision because they believe these individuals are criminals.
This, however, is false. An immigrant cannot be protected by DACA if they’ve committed a crime. These people are, in some cases, more American than those who were born in this country. It saddens me to see the thousands of DACA recipients gathering to protest about the fear they now feel because of President Trump’s order. And it also scares me to know that someone I care about is not safe. What the DACA program offered was hope and a chance at a better future. Most of these individuals were brought to this country by their parents, and had no say in the matter. This country is all they know, it’s been their home for a majority of their lifetime and to send them “home” is senseless.
As of right now there seems to be a chance to protect these young people as Trump is working with Democrats. I still encourage you all to protest and share your support. For all you know a DACA recipient could be right next to you.