Stay Woke! DACA recipients deserve better

Jennifer Merino

Tuesday, Sep. 5 marked the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). This means that the program will have six months for applicants to renew their DACA for two years and then they are forced into a permanent limbo, unless Congress does something to change this fatal end to a beautiful dream. 

If Congress fails to respond with a plausible solution, after the two years are over, there may be possible deportation and a complete halt of federal protection to those on the Deferred Action program—a program that has allowed young immigrants to become contributing members to our economy. 

There are various allegations claiming that the jobs acquired by DACA recipients have been snagged from underneath American-born citizens; however, these allegations have been shot down by Mark Zandi, a chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Zandi said “There is no evidence of that [and] repealing DACA is particularly wrongheaded as economic policy.” 

There is often an emotional appeal to members of the working class from the conservative base that marginalize immigrants. They are stereotyped as lazy, useless freeloaders who take advantage of the system. This is factually incorrect: illegal immigrants are unable to recieve federal benefits most tax payers would normally have access too such as food stamps and healthcare. This is due to the fact that they are not eligible for most governmental assistance. There have been many direct contradictions to this fable, and so another method of attack is used to help push policy along. 

The narrative switches from freeloaders to a mob-like group that is taking over American jobs and businesses from American citizens.  Let’s nip this other extreme before it grows into an even larger fallacy.  

Christian Faraias, a writer for New York Magazine, writes: “They are, in just about every respect but their paperwork, Americans like you and me—they’re educators, nurses, lawyers, IT specialists, business owners, or just students working toward a future. By Trump’s own recognition, Dreamers, as DACA recipients are known, are ‘absolutely incredible kids’ who deserve to be treated ‘with heart.’”

A fellow Poet also rose to speak up on the DACA program to better inform our constituents that “those who old DACA status provide great contribution in the overall economic and social well-being of the United States. It is a common misconception that DACA recipients are reaping the benefits of American taxpayer dollars without contributing themselves, when this is simply not true,” said Senior Political Science major and Diversity Council Representative Victoria Gonzalez. “DACA recipients contribute to the economy of the U.S. without reaping any of those benefits that taxpayers would regularly have access to. All DACA recipients are required to pay taxes, yet they are not eligible to receive government funded assistance of benefits such as Medicaid, financial aid, Social Security, good stamps, health care under the Affordable Care Act, or any other form of government provided assistance.”

In her article from NPR,  Danielle Kurtzleben states: “Zandi has predicted (according to the New York Times) that in five years the GDP would be $105 billion smaller without DACA recipients than with them.” Compared to a GDP of 19 trillion it may seem like a small hit, but the economy would not have grown half a percept without the contribution of these fellow recipients.

I write this in utter grief for my fellow human beings who have to endure additional stress because the Trump administration deemed this program “unconstitutional.” It is our job to stay correctly informed on the matter that is tearing apart the lives of our fellow human beings. Knowledge is the key element that will help us better understand the awful misconduct they are going through. It is also through awareness that will help the misguided minds that falsely judge the DACA recipients for reaping benefits that they were never allotted in the first place. It is through speaking up that we are able to help voice for justice.  

UPDATE: President Trump and some Democratic leaders have come to an agreement to move towards a legislative plan that would safegaurd the lives of young undocumented immigrants in the instance of deportation. At this moment they are reviewing different options that, I assume, are for the greater good for the former DACA recipients. As of now, it seems that the plan is to move for protection against deportation. The moves taken Wednesday night, Sep. 13 byPresident Trump and Democrats seems to be moving the gears towards an acceptable solution, but hopefully they take more than just deportaiton into consideration. More to come in the following days.