House Editorial: We’re All Dreamers

Savannah Palmer and SUU News

Cartoon by Sam Sherrill

On September 5, 2017, President Donald Trump and his administration announced the end of the former President Barack Obama’s overreaching Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order.

DACA is considered a response to the failed legislative Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act that was introduced in 2001. Obama created DACA in 2012 through an executive order. This order was started without paying heed to the checks and balances of the legislation and laws which are meant to be the foundation of democracy in the United States of America.

DACA is for children under the age of 16 who were brought into the country illegally by their parents. Those eligible for DACA are protected from deportation. According to Immigration Equality (an immigrant’s rights organization), to qualify for DACA you must:

  1. Be under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012
  2. Have come to the U.S. while under the age of 16
  3. Have continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 to the present. (For purposes of calculating this five year period, brief and innocent absences from the United States for humanitarian reasons are not included)
  4. Have entered the U.S. without inspection or fell out of lawful visa status before June 15, 2012
  5. Have been physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
  6. Be currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a General Education Development, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or armed forces
  7. Not have been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors of any kind
  8. Not pose a threat to national security or public safety

If you meet these requirements, there is no fear of deportation under DACA.

Despite the shock of change and the angry misunderstandings swarming the world and media right now, Trump has in reality given an olive branch to those in the figurative line of fire.

The Fifth Circuit, The United States Court of Appeals and several states were in the process of striking DACA down in a way that would have resulted in an immediate deportation of all DREAMERs before Trump took control of the situation.

Trump gave a six month window to Congress to correctly and lawfully resolve the previous issues, and to serve as a grace period for undocument immigrants to get their ducks in a row before decisions are made and lives are permanently changed.

This is an unfortunate circumstance regardless of personal politics. This movement affects the lives of over three-quarter of a million people in the U.S. Undocumented people will have to leave what is now their home; families will be broken up, careers and educations brought to a stop. The truth is that the United States has been a generous and welcoming country to those that contribute to their economy and societies and to those that obey and uphold the laws of this nation since its inception.

Statements made by the White House and Trump were specific on what this change is about.

“As I’ve said before, we will resolve the DACA issue with heart and compassion-but through the lawful Democratic process,” Trump said.

Trump has also said that the Dreamers can rest easy, and that this is the policy of his administration. They are not going after Dreamers, they are going after criminals. The American dream is a concept of inalienable rights through the laws that cannot be changed or rewritten due to the heart strings of Congress. Citizenship is a privilege, just as in any country in the world: it is not a right.