For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, you may know that I tend to go a little over the edge with the political side of life.
In college, it is easy to just forget the outside world and hang out until you graduate. The problem is that you have to graduate someday, and you’ll be taking over the world as a Generation Y.
When my class graduates in 2019, President Donald Trump will be finishing his first term and continuing the reflection process-I say “continuing” because he started the day he was elected.
What has the President succeeding in doing? From a legislative standpoint, not much. But the President recently decided to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).
DACA is the result of an executive memorandum signed by President Barack Obama on June 15, 2012. It defends those from foreign countries who were brought to America before their 16th birthday. A few of these people, now aging from preteens to young adults, don’t even know they’re not citizens of the United States until it’s too late. They find out by applying for a job, the military, a driver’s license, etc. What do they do when they find out they’re not legal citizens? They can’t leave the country, because America is the only country they’ve ever known. Hence DACA.
In simple terms, DACA is an exchange of rights. The Dreamers, those benefitting from DACA, give all of their information to the government, including family, address and occupations. In exchange, the government gives them immunity from deportation or any other kind of discrimination.
President Trump, since 2012, has exclaimed that DACA needs to end. He said in an interview with Chuck Todd that all Dreamers must be deported. But, in 2017, when he did end DACA, he claimed that his heart was with the Dreamers. He declared that he will do everything he can to ensure their safety and ways of life. How did he do this? He left it up to Congress.
Now, Congress must, within a six-month time period, pass legislation that decides the fate of these Dreamers, be it deportation or continued immunity. Congress has a 16 percent approval rating in August 2017, according to a Gallup poll, and this unpopularity is because of its inability to get anything done.
Democrats and Republicans causing gridlock is not likely to change. So, now that DACA is gone, the Dreamers have six months to figure out what to do. Congress has yet to announce any plans.
This is important to keep an eye on. This affects all of us here at OCU. In Oklahoma alone, there are almost 7,000 Dreamers. We need to defend these people.
Of the 800,000 Dreamers across the U.S., 91 percent work. They contribute to our economy and likely work just as hard as anyone else. Our economy is just now getting back on its feet, and the last thing we need, as students, is another hurdle to jump.
Say what you will about President Trump, but this is the narrative that defines his administration and his role as President. This move was purely political, rolling back on Obama-era policies. This move did not and will not improve the lives of average Americans. It hurts our economy and sends a message of instability, discrimination and lack of compassion to the rest of the world.
When 2020 comes, hopefully we will be casting our votes for the next President of the United States. You must stop and ask yourself whether this is the kind of person we want making these vital decisions. Is America a country of borders, nationalism and racial degradation? Or is America a country of dreamers, liberty for all and the American Dream?