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Why the potential DACA rulings brings questions of humanity

On Sept. 5, President Donald Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in the United States. The DACA program, which former President Barack Obama put in place through executive order, protected Dreamers, the children of undocumented immigrants, from deportation and allowed them to stay in the United States to work or study. The current number of Dreamers totals up to almost 800,000.
Although there has been no court ruling on DACA, there is a question of whether Trump’s action is unconstitutional, as Congress is in charge of immigration laws, not the president. But larger than simply the constitutionality of DACA, it is an issue of humanity. According to, the average age of undocumented children coming to this country with their parents is around six years old. That means that the U.S. could potentially be punishing kids as six years old or younger for entering this country through no choice of their own. Now, children who have been brought to our country by their parents for a better future may never have that chance. America is a country of immigrants, all of whom came here for another life. This being the case, how is it fair or morally acceptable to deport these children and not give them a chance for a better future?
Some people often fail to see the humanity in these immigrants, arguing that they have “stolen” jobs from hard working American citizens and “drain” our economy by taking public benefits. This, however, is false. As said by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, “[Undocumented] immigrants contribute more than they take. It is a lie that they take public benefits because they don’t qualify for just about every benefit… [undocumented immigrants] are not eligible for benefits.”
Jayapal continued by saying that it is normal to need someone to blame, and that immigrants are the easy options. However, “who you need to blame are the big corporations that aren’t paying their fair share of taxes and are creating jobs that don’t pay as well and do not allow somebody to work 40 hours a week and actually take care of their families,” said Jayapal.
Jayapal is correct. No undocumented immigrant should be solely blamed for problems within our economy, let alone children. Think of your family. In a sense, they are the long descendants of immigrants and hold the same history of being from a different country. Sending them back to their “origin” countries would force them to adopt a new lifestyle and lose access to opportunities once available for them. This all would solely be because they don’t fit the mold of a “true American.”
Yes, there is a problem with people coming into the United States undocumented, but deporting people and breaking up families is not the answer. An effort needs to be made to get to the root of the problem and solve it from there. In the meantime, people that came here to have a better life should not be treated as less than human.
Presently, the Dreamers’ DACA permits will be valid until their expiration date. Those who currently hold jobs cannot be fired, put on leave, etc. because employers are forbidden from asking for updated work authorization until expiration. According to The Department of Homeland Security, “Recipients of DACA are currently unlawfully present in the U.S. with their removal deferred. When their period of deferred action expires or is terminated, their removal will no longer be deferred.” This means that Dreamers will not begin to be deported until their DACA expires, especially since the government currently plans on removing immigrants who have criminal records. DACA recipients are not likely to fall under this category, as those applying have to go through intense screening and background checks.
Additionally, no new DACA applications are being accepted. Currently, finding a replacement for DACA has been moved to Congress’s lengthy to-do list, but it needs to be moved to the top of that list. The futures of children are at stake, and the government cannot just take their time in solving this problem, because doing so is wasting away someone else’s life.
Only about 1 in 3 adults holds a bachelor degree or higher. Here at Clemson, we are so fortunate to have the opportunity to further our education and lay the foundation for our future careers. Every young person deserves this chance to be educated and to grow that statistic. Protecting Dreamers is a way that we can give them that chance.

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