Students are affected by dismissal of DACA

Imagine living in the same place for your entire life. You have called this place home forever. You have strong relationships built, you are attending school, you are even beginning your career. Then, try to imagine being forced to leave this place and going somewhere you have no reason to call home.

This is the current situation for many people living in the United States, including multiple students at PHS. These students were brought here illegally at a very young age. With the help of the United States’ previous president, Barack Obama, their rights to live as a citizen of the United States were protected.

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was created in 2012 by the Obama Administration. This program allowed young people brought to America illegally by their parents to get temporary reprieve from deportation. They are also able to receive permission to have a job, study and obtain a driver’s license.

This allowed people to start and continue a happy life in America. The 800,000 recipients, also known as “Dreamers,” mostly arrive from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The majority of the “Dreamers” are concentrated in California, Texas, New York, Illinois and Florida according to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

When the Obama Administration was unable to find a legislative solution to protect minors who were brought to the United States at a young age, they created the DACA program through an executive decision in June 2012.

President Donald Trump is strongly against immigration and promised to United States citizens to reverse Obama’s “unconstitutional” decisions to create DACA in the first place. The “Dreamers” will not be forced to leave right away.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, “DACA will be phased out, with an official end in six months.”

USCIS will be processing all new applications received by Sept. 5 but then will stop accepting new applications. “Dreamers” whose work permits are set to expire before March 5, 2018 can apply for a two-year renewal but they must meet the deadline of Oct. 5.

The government, however, will be terminating previously issued deferred actions or revoke employment authorization documents. Whether “Dreamers” will become immediate targets for deportation or not is still unclear.

“I have advised the Department of Homeland Security that recipients of DACA are not enforcement priorities, unless they are criminals, are involved in criminal activity or are members of a gang,” Trump said.

As of now, fellow neighbors, coworkers, community members and close friends are safe to live in this country but come the end of DACA, it is unknown how this will turn out. Recipients of DACA have called the United States “home” for almost their entire life; this is all they have ever known. To be forced to go back to a country they don’t know would change everything, from their education to their careers. “Dreamers” are as involved as any other American citizen and deserve to stay here where they were raised. The United States is a ethnically diverse country as a whole and forcing the “Dreamers” to leave would take away from that fact.