What is DACA?

By Jenny Bushnell

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or, DACA is, “an official announcement that the Department of Homeland Security called in 2012, through the leadership of Obama in order to handle the problem of the so-called Dreamers, they made a decision just to basically not deport about 800,000 people who qualify as so-called Dreamers,” said Scott Waalkes, professor of international politics. The Dreamers are non-U.S. citizens who came to America with their parents and have now spent most of their lives here. Many Dreamers have connections and ties to their communities, have started careers or earned college degrees, and now know more about America than their place of origin. Through the order given during the Obama administration in 2012, these non-U.S. citizens were permitted to stay in the U.S. by receiving protective benefits such as a Social Security number and a work permit. The Trump administration has considered repealing the executive order put into place during the Obama administration. Waalkes said, “The focus is more on repealing the benefits, rather than immediate deportation.”Rebekah Portillo, junior nursing major, shares from firsthand experience as her mother is a Dreamer from Guatemala. Portillo’s mother came to the U.S. when she was five. Portillo’s grandmother made sure everyone got their papers and their citizenship. However, Portillo’s great uncle does not have documentation. This means both him and his daughters could be at risk with the repeal of DACA.Portillo said the repeal of DACA would be negative because it would limit the opportunities of immigrants who were trying to provide for their families. Furthermore, Portillo said immigrants help America since they are willing to work hard labor jobs for very little pay. These are jobs that Americans are unwilling to do, and the fact that they are fulfilled by low paid immigrants boosts the economy. “It’s annoying because there is always that debate about how foreigners are bad. But, many are here and helping the community,” said Portillo.“So I don’t think it is right to take that away from them, especially when they are giving back to the community.”“It is important to present both perspectives,” Elizabeth Patterson-Roe, professor of social work and global studies said. “Some Christians may say that these people came here illegally and need to go through a legal process. Other people would say the system is broken and policies need to change.” The question at hand is how do Christians and citizens of the U.S. wrap their minds around this subject? Is it possible to be against DACA, but support Dreamers and all they want to accomplish? DACA is a policy that was not passed through Congress, but a direct order fromWhat is DACA? Continued”Many Students left the Stewart Room feeling inspired; not just with writing, but also with faith.” President Obama. As Christians, it is hard to decide which to stand for. Many of the Dreamers grew up in America and got their education here. Going back to their country of origin may completely displace them from all that they have ever known. “It would be like us moving to Mexico,” Patterson-Roe states. “A lot of the immigrants that come [to the U.S.] are honest people and they’re just trying to live a better life,” said Portillo. “You hear the stories on the news like about the bad immigrants that are the drug dealers. That’s what Mexico is categorized as…that’s not the majority of it. I grew up [in Mexico]. I know the beautifulness of it, and I know that so many great people are here trying to just provide for their families.”“It is a controversial policy and legal issue,” Waalkes said, “but our calling as Christians is beyond just paying attention to law and policy. It is to love our neighbor, including the neighbor who might be in an irregular, undocumented state.”

 

LXIII Issue No. 3

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