Donald Trump’s election to the U.S. presidency brought anger, hate, and fear for immigrants and American citizens. One of the biggest issues in Trump’s presidency is his immigration policy. In September 2017, Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program was created in 2012 by former President Barack Obama to protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation (Jester). It has provided recipients, known as Dreamers, with opportunities to be successful by giving them social security numbers, work permits, and a chance at education. With these opportunities, recipients have positively contributed to American society. Ending this program will bring negative impacts in the healthcare field, military, and economy. It will also force recipients and family members to face the high stress of deportation to their “home” countries. Therefore, Trump’s radical decision on the rescinding of the DACA program is detrimental to Dreamers, American citizens, and the country.
As the leader of the United States, Trump needs to represent what the country wants, not what he wants. In his speech on canceling DACA, his reason was to protect America’s security and its citizens (“Statement”). However, the opinion poll by Max Greenwood cited by Campoy shows that most Americans see DACA recipients as contributors to the country, and they do not want the recipients to get deported (Campoy). Dreamers are not dangers and threats to the country, but they are key players, bringing positive impacts. The country is not pleased with Trump’s radical decision, and the recipients are frustrated and anxious. People know that there is not a quick solution to this immigration policy issue, but they believe that ending the program or deporting the DACA recipients is not the solution. Going against what the nation supports, Trump’s statement does not bring any solution, but it rather worsens the situation. He should have made a decision based on how the nation cares for the Dreamers, not based on how he feels about them.
In addition, ending the DACA program has nothing to do with Trump’s focus on national security and deporting criminals. In a statement released by Trump in September 2017, Trump criticizes immigrants for bringing threats and dangers to the country. However, contrary to Trump’s statement, Dreamers are less likely to commit crimes than American citizens (Ingraham). Especially for DACA recipients, the eligibility for the program and the requirements to retain the status of a Dreamer are strict, so they are less likely to commit crimes (Stone). Therefore, the presence of undocumented immigrants is not the cause of dangers and threats to American communities. Trump needs to see the real facts of criminal records. His stereotype of DACA recipients as dangerous criminals and criticizing them without any solid evidence is not reasonable.
Trump’s claim of wanting to treat the DACA recipients with “heart and compassion,” and his action of ending the DACA program is self-contradicting. Trump claims that he doesn’t want to punish these recipients, who were illegally brought to the country (“Statement”). However, his statement on ending the program in September 2017 forces the recipients to face a fearful thing: deportation. Both of these statements said by Trump cannot be true. His self-contradiction in his statement makes it difficult for his audience to believe in what he says and convinces them to doubt him. If Trump cares for DACA recipients, he should have not rescinded the program that protects them.
Innocent young people should not be expelled nor be forced to face an unclear future. Trump treats young Dreamers as “bargaining chips” in exchange for an ineffective border wall (Pareli). The DACA recipients are frustrated and angry about Trump’s ignorance of the consequences of ending the DACA program (Jester). They consider this country as their home, and they value their American identities and what they stand for (Pareli). Taking away the program and expelling people who have worked hard to achieve the American Dream and to contribute to society is unfair. This would lead to deportation to the original countries that they have never visited before. Among some recipients coming from violent countries, this can mean death. Even if they do not get deported right away, it would be difficult for them to stay in the country because their driver’s licenses and work permits will expire. Young recipients tend to show health issues from concern about themselves and their undocumented parents’ possibility of deportation (Jester). They have dreams of the future, and they do have the right to live, study, and work without threat as other Americans do.
Trump should provide a better solution than rescinding the program for many young Dreamers who want to achieve higher education degrees and to contribute to the country. For example, one DACA recipient, Jin K. Park was brought to the country when he was seven years old (Marcelo). A graduate of Harvard University and a recipient of the Rhodes scholarship, he wants to study abroad in England in the fall of 2019. He considers himself as an American in his heart and mind, yet he just lacks the papers to prove his legal statement (Marcelo). Unfortunately, there seems to be no clear answer to his case. He expresses his stress saying, “If I leave, there’s a very real possibility that I won’t be able to come back. That’s the biggest [fear] for sure” (Marcelo). His family members are distressed and anxious. He is a young Dreamer who dreams of success, and the country should support him.
While families and Dreamers under the DACA program are directly impacted by Trump’s decision, the communities they live in are also affected. DACA recipients live in each state, but some states have more of them than other states (Jester). And in those states, the recipients tend to live in a community together and get employed in similar job areas (Jester). Therefore, rescinding the program is noticeable in those areas and increases the stress level rapidly in a community as a whole (Jester). The community is affected by the fear of an uncertain future.
Rescinding the DACA program does not only affect the Dreamers, family members, and communities, but it also affects universities and colleges that recipients are planning to attend or are already attending. College leaders argue that DACA recipients “bring unique viewpoints and backgrounds to campus, excel academically, and contribute to the economy after graduating” (Fattal). Universities criticized Trump’s decision on ending the program and are willing to help students to stay in college, achieving their education (Fattal). Fattal argues that Dreamers are strong students and they are and will be a strong workforce, positively contributing to American society. Each recipient works hard to support their education, and each of them is more than eligible to study what he or she wants. Taking away opportunities that have allowed them to pursue education opportunities harms both the students and the universities.
Furthermore, unfavorable economic effects will result as a consequence of rescinding the DACA program. Under the DACA program, Dreamers are motivated to achieve higher education and pursue their career choices with their talents and ambitions. They make up a large proportion of the workforce. If they are all removed from the workforce, there would not be enough people to fill their places, and government finances will worsen (Stone). The country would lose valuable workers. Trump stated that immigrants take jobs away from American citizens. However, with higher education, the DACA recipients do not compete with the low-skilled Americans (Stone). Stone argues that it costs about $12,500 to deport one individual recipient, which would waste citizens’ taxes. In fact, the country would lose several hundred billion dollars of GDP in a short period of time (Stone). Trump’s decision does not make sense economically.
Furthermore, ending the DACA program results in negative impacts on the American health care field. In one article, Anna Nunez claims that the nation is already has a shortage of physicians, and Trump’s movement on ending DACA will worsen this situation. She claims that “Dreamers are an essential part of the nation’s health workforce, and federal policies to terminate DACA without a workable solution will only diminish our nation’s health” (Nunez). In addition, since many of the DACA physicians work in areas where patients cannot easily access health care professionals, these areas will suffer significantly from the shortage of health laborers (Nunez). One-fifth of DACA recipients are studying in medical school, getting residency training, researching, or working in the field, and now they do not know their future. One Dreamer doctor said anxiously, “The day DACA is revoked, I have to take off my white coat” (Nunez). All the work she has done over a long time becomes nothing. Trump’s heartless and cruel decision on rescinding the program that has given Dreamers hope, encouragement, and opportunities, brings damage to the health care field and to the American communities that he wants to protect.
In addition to hurting the economy and healthcare field, there is a terrible impact on the U.S. military when the DACA program ends. One research study argues that the military has some challenges in finding fluent language speakers and workers who are trained in a STEM field and healthcare professions currently (“Outside the Wire…”). These problems of finding enough people in each field are solved by DACA eligible population. The research mentions some key points on how Dreamers can serve in the military with their language skills and their experience of training in healthcare and STEM fields (“Outside the Wire…”). The recipients are essential players in the U.S. military, but they cannot join the military without the DACA program. To strengthen national security, the recipients need to fill the gap in the empty field. Trump’s decision actually devastates the military field, which is important to protect the country.
Even non-professional fields such as construction and the restaurant industry are affected. These fields might not sound as important as the healthcare and military fields, yet they are essential in this country. DACA recipients without higher education, or who are working to support their families financially and to pay their tuition work in these areas (Mui). They bring diverse cultures and traditions to the fields that native-born citizens can experience (Mui). And since these industries also make up important sectors of the economy, hurting these industries worsens the economy of the United States.
The DACA program has given opportunities for Dreamers to live a successful life in the country. They have studied, worked, drove, and lived without fear of deportation under the program until recently. The recipients love this country and the values it stands for. They want to contribute to the country with their skills. However, President Donald Trump’s decision stops them. One by one, each recipient’s opportunities are taken away, and they do not know when they themselves will be taken away from the country. The lives of recipients are shaken followed by families, communities, and the country as a whole. The president needs to consider what is best for the country and its people. Trump’s decision on ending the DACA program clearly does not reflect the voice of the nation and the American citizens. His choice ignores that the recipients contribute to American society and bring unfavorable effects to the country. The government needs to recognize the recipients’ motivation and hard work. It should propose a better solution to this immigration policy, not just rescinding the program and expelling young innocent people.
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