Throughout history, the topic of immigration has remained a major controversy in America between both Republicans and Democrats. A similar issue, known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), was a program passed by the Obama administration in 2012. Not only did this program open up a path of citizenship for the children of illegal immigrant parents, but also guided these DREAMers to receive a temporary pardon from deportation. However, now with President Trump in office, the program has been put to an end, which will negatively impact many, as it decreases their chances of coming to the United States and living a better lifestyle. Therefore, DACA should be reinstated because it aids America’s economy, has reasonable restrictions, and provides refuge to kids looking for a brighter future.
Some argue that recipients of DACA have brought many issues into America without any real benefits. This is especially seen since many citizens believe that DACA has “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing…illegal aliens to take those jobs” (“FACT CHECK: Are DACA Recipients Stealing Jobs Away From Other Americans?”). Many identify this as fewer opportunities for Americans, something some have already experienced. For instance, many of the DACA recipients are heavily concentrated in states such as California and Texas, meaning citizens in those areas are facing the most difficulties and are mainly against immigration (“Examining the Contributions of the DACA-Eligible Population in the Key States”). Some people also appear to be against DACA because it is unfair to other foreigners who have been waiting for a legal route to come to America for multiple years (Jordan). Although this may appear as the truth, many fail to acknowledge the harsh circumstances that might have forced these immigrants to arrive in America, with no other option left. There have been many assumptions made on the basis that there is a fixed amount of work available in the US, also known as the “lump of labor fallacy” (“FACT CHECK: Are DACA Recipients Stealing Jobs Away From Other Americans?”). However, at this point, America has more employment jobs than ever before, which is why it has become crucial for the country to find more workers to support its economy. It has also been predicted that in the past five years, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would have been at least one hundred and five billion dollars shorter without the help of DACA recipients.
Not only this, but data illustrate that DACA recipients make significant and positive contributions to the economy, primarily through an increase in high wages, meaning higher tax revenue and economic growth, which aids all citizens. The recipients themselves are also receiving benefits, such as the opportunity to purchase their own cars and homes and even start their own businesses (Wong et al.). This provides them with the opportunity to live a free life in America without the worry of deportation. To add on, the act increases college attendance, giving more students the ability to receive jobs. With the DREAM act still in place, this would prevent the recipient’s educational plans from being distorted, boosting their college attendance, and in the end, increasing their contributions made to the economy (“If ‘Dreamers’ Are Protected, Would the Economy Benefit?”). With these mutual benefits, DACA can be seen as an extremely useful and well-adapted plan to emplace.
Furthermore, DACA comes with restrictions to ensure maximum assistance to the American economy. More specifically, to become a part of DACA, members must be in school, have a general education development (GED) certificate, or be a discharged veterans to the Coast Guard or American armed forces. (“How to Apply for DACA – National Immigration Law Center”). All three of these options ensure that the DACA members will and are contributing to the American economy in some way. Since most members already come with the education needed, this means America will have more jobs being occupied. An increase in jobs boosts the economy, which has remained a major area of concern for citizens against this issue. By learning more about these benefits, people will realize that the number of jobs is not a matter to be worried about. In fact, there are more than enough jobs that need to be occupied, and with more immigrants, more will be filled.
Along with these restrictions, there are many other requirements to become a recipient, meaning that in the end, only a few apply to DACA. Primarily, DREAMers must have no criminal record, which includes committing a felony offense, or posing a threat to public safety as well as national security (“How to Apply for DACA – National Immigration Law Center”). This ensures that America will be providing opportunities, only to those who have proven not to harm the country by any means. Along with this come age and time range requirements as well as handing in any financial records that prove that the DREAMer will only provide benefits to America. In addition, the Obama administration has done many things to make this process the most useful for immigrants. For instance, if a DREAMer appears to have a deportation case, but is eligible considering the criteria, they can still submit a DACA request, providing them with a two to three-year grant (“How to Apply for DACA – National Immigration Law Center”). This process carefully targets any issues that may appear, also verifying an opportunity to the DREAMer, while still helping the US in multiple ways.
DACA provides safety to those who have come in hope for a better future. Specifically, this program helps families who came to America after fleeing from violence and other issues in their homeland. For example, an illegal immigrant, named Ginger tried to escape a violent gang that she was kidnapped by in Honduras, and hoped that she wouldn’t have to return home. Families like hers “understand that there are serious risks involved in making the journey…but they’re seeking to flee from terrible circumstances in their home countries” (Smith 9). This is done despite the knowledge that the families will be sent to an asylum system, where their case may not even appear for several years. Ginger also recalls the conditions that she had to travel in with just a small bag and a few articles of clothing, as well as the facility in Texas where she was held in horrible circumstances. Along with her, her mother had come to the country much prior, after being raped in Honduras (Smith 10-11). Others, such as workers, come with a hope to receive fair pay and the right to live and work without dangers (Stout 11). With President Trump announcing rules restricting immigrants to apply, this will make the process much harder for families in need of refuge, such as Ginger’s. There are tremendous amounts of injustice in such countries, which leaves many families, and more importantly, children hopeless. However, with the option to flee to safety and having opportunities like these, recipients are provided with the support and encouragement that they may need to live a normal lifestyle.
“The unfilled promise of comprehensive reform has left millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States living under the constant threat of deportation” (Lara). Many children will soon lose the ability to live a normal lifestyle if DACA is not reinstated, even though they have had no fault and control over this issue. DACA holds the capability to help these DREAMers live how they dream, while still looking out for benefits the program brings to America as a whole.
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