Reacting to DACA

One of the major issues headlining the past several months of Donald Trump’s presidency has been the handling of the controversial immigration policy DACA. This policy allowed minors who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents to be protected from deportation. The policy was implemented by President Obama (many claim unconstitutionally) when Congress failed to pass legislation approving it in 2012. Since then, approximately 800,000 illegal immigrants--average age of 24--have received protection from DACA. The Trump administration announced on Sept 5, 2017, that DACA would be rescinded and gave Congress several months to pass legislation resolving the conflict.

This decision quickly became a topic of major discussion. As has been typical this past year, the Democrats outspokenly opposed President Trump on the issue, but many Republicans also agreed that rescinding DACA and removing protection from these people was the wrong course of action. The emotional argument is a powerful one: individuals brought here at a young age with no say in the matter should not be held accountable for the actions of their parents. Many of these people know nothing of where they came from and do not even speak the language of their homeland. Others insist that granting amnesty to those here illegally, regardless of how they got here, hurts both the economy and legal immigration. No matter which side people take, this topic has major influence on the lives of hundreds of thousands of students and workers who could lose their amnesty and face deportation.

Here at JBU, many people have voiced their concerns or support over the termination of the program. On January 31st, a discussion was held in Simmons Great Hall in order to talk about how to respond to the situation. Although advertised as a case study, it consisted of asking a panel comprised of JBU students how they had responded to the program’s rescinding. Most showed concern over how this would affect not only immigration as a whole, but how this would affect specific people in their lives who are DACA recipients. They encouraged the crowd to stay informed and do research on the subject in order to fully understand both sides of the issue. Panel members also encouraged audience members to call congressmen and women and presenting our opinions so that they know what the people they represent want and to spend time with those directly impacted by the situation. The practices the panel encouraged should not only be used in this one instance. These are the actions that should be taken whenever engaging in political activism.

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The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not claim to reflect the opinions or views of The Defendant or its staff members.

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