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DACA: Good idea, bad establishment

Andrew Friel, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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On Tuesday, September 5th, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Obama-era DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program would be refined in 6 months, giving Congress the responsibility to deal with the program. The hope of many is that there will be a bipartisan restructure of the program within the six month grace period.

Let me first be very clear on one stance: Illegal immigration is against the law and is completely unacceptable for adults to engage in. No exceptions.

Despite my hardline illegal immigration stance, I believe we need to have compassion for children who had no hand in the decision to break the law and enter the United States illegally. DACA was created in order to protect these members of society from the fear of deportation, and despite them being here illegally, I support this measure for these children.

Statistics show that the majority of “Dreamers” are employed and productive members of our society, and this is very promising considering other negative statistics we see about other immigrants living in the US. Furthermore, those protected under DACA do not receive government benefits while still paying US taxes.

The main issue with DACA was its implementation by former President Barack Obama. The policy was announced in a speech June 15th, 2012 and eventually as an executive order. Many Republicans and some Democrats decried this policy as executive overreach and spent the remaining years of the Obama administration attempting to end DACA.

Another topic that needs to be cleared up as we discuss this issue is the current status of the DACA program. No one under DACA protections is going to be randomly deported. The hysteria and shock over the rescinding of this program needs to stop and we need to look at the facts of this situation.

I support the main tenants of the policy since there are checks to ensure that DACA recipients will not commit crimes, and they have been generally productive members of society.

However, I have to agree with those who called this an abuse of power. Obama unilaterally put this policy in place without the official approval of Congress or those who they represent. If our country wishes to protect “Dreamers”, it must be done legally and through the appropriate legislative process.

My hope is that the law can be put into place with a strong focus on protecting our citizens first, while still being sympathetic to the children of those who broke the law.

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DACA: Good idea, bad establishment