Voilet Covey, Staff
DACA stands for the 2012 “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” policy, but I like to think it stands for “Don’t Antagonize Colored Americans.” Over 800,000 immigrants have been protected by the policy that former President Barack Obama endorsed during his administration. This policy applies to those born outside of the United States but who illegally entered the country as minors in circumstances beyond their control.
DACA offers qualifying immigrants work permits and protection against deportation. However, at a campaign event, President Trump said,“We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties, in which he defied federal law and the constitution to give amnesty to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants.” With DACA no longer accepting new applications as of September 5, 2017, once immune immigrants are now threatened by losing their protection under DACA unless Congress plans to support DACA by March 5, 2018.
The end of DACA would indicate a complete and sudden 180-degree change from what America used to stand for. Ending DACA would mean displacing hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants. Democrats, as well as immigration advocates, have pushed hard to keep DACA while receiving resistance from Republicans and now with zero compromise from President Trump who said on Twitter, “ Any deal on DACA that does not include STRONG border security and the desperately needed WALL is a waste of time.” Initially, Trump stated that he would agree to a bipartisanship, but recently, Trump stated that he refuses to compromise with Democrats about DACA unless funding for the proposed wall is approved. From the beginning of Trump’s candidacy we have seen that he advocated for stronger border control and seems to have a xenophobic view of most non-white immigrants.
Personally, I do not fall under DACA, but I am still an immigrant, having entered the United States at eight-months-old from China. Because of this, I cannot help but sympathize with parents and families wanting to give their children an easier, happier life, just as my parents did. Isn’t that why Europeans began to settle here? Should we not extend the same hospitality to the “new” discriminated immigrants simply because they hail from Syria rather than from Norway? We cannot overlook the fact that President Donald Trump’s grandparents, mother, and two of his three wives were born in Europe. Trump, though, has always been upfront about how he feels about immigration. He has always been blunt. One such example is when he said—referring to Haiti and Africa—“Why do we want all these people from sh*thole countries coming here?” at a January 12 Oval Office meeting. Trump even said, “Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out.” Trump later claimed via Twitter, “Never said ‘take them out.’ Made up by [Democrats]”. Surely even extreme conservatives cannot condone such hate speech. As inhabitants of such a rich and diverse country, we should and must have higher standards for the politicians we elect to represent us as a people.
Druid Hills is filled with students from every background. It seems that we seldom think about the different backgrounds surrounding us because we have grown up alongside them. Being exposed to different cultures, religions, and languages makes us a more compassionate society. By stripping both documented and undocumented immigrants of the society and culture they have grown up around, Trump’s is “making America white again.” Fortunately, the society of The United States is far too advanced for Trump’s goal to ever become a reality.
The main problem is not simply that Trump has killed the DACA project but that he has so little concern about what will happen to those who are covered by DACA. Instead, what Trump needs to do is file an act that will protect people already in the United States because of DACA. Should Trump come through with a plan similar to this rather than casting aside immigrants, he may see more cooperation from Democrats whom he claims to be too stubborn and unsupportive.
Former president Barack Obama said it best: “My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too.”