Campus Views: DACA and The Role of Immigration in America

New policies challenge American ideals and force politicians to pick a side


Citizenship comes under fire

At what point does America stop being the land of opportunity and start becoming a closed club?

KUA is a diverse community, but many parts of the US are becoming less trusting of international citizens

On Tuesday, September 5th, President Trump announced that he would be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA  was created by former President Barrack Obama in June 2012, granting minors who had illegally entered the country protection from deportation, and making them eligible for a work permit.

This decision was met with condemnation from both liberals and conservatives alike, with many calling the decision “cruel” and “shortsighted.” President Obama, who has remained rather low profile, called it “self-defeating and wrong.” Many GOP members viewed DACA as a way for illegal immigrants to get a free pass into America and commit crimes and other illegal activities. The fact that DACA-registered immigrants, or “dreamers” were given eligibility for a work permits created the mentality that they were taking away American Jobs.

Citizenship may be revoked for hundreds of thousands of immigrants

The requirements for DACA eligibility are quite strict. These requirements, such as not being a convicted felon or having no significant misdemeanors on one’s record, directly contradict the GOP’s statements. DACA-registered immigrants usually go on to impact the American economy positively. Six percent even go on to start their own business, creating more jobs for other Americans, despite what the GOP says.

I decided to ask several KUA students about what they thought about this recent event.

Trevor Adams criticized President Trump’s decision, saying, “ Most of these immigrants have been doing nothing but benefiting America and its economy.” He also pointed out a flaw in President Trumps plan, citing the fact that, “ For most of these DACA registered immigrants, America is the only home they have ever known. There is no where else for them to go. You would be deporting them into a country that is as foreign to them, as it is to most other Americans”.

Many Dreamers may feel excluded and disenfranchised by mounting anti-immigration policies

Another student, Nick Fife, had this to say on the topic: “ I can see why some might have a problem with DACA [recipients], mainly that they haven’t entered the US legally”. He then added, “Many of the DACA immigrants take many of the jobs that Americans don’t want; that is something you have to consider.”

The decision to phase out DACA was, for the most part, unpopular with a majority of Americans. And with Trump’s approval rating tanking, this controversial move could only hurt his standing more with the American people.

Undoubtedly, these shifting immigration policies will have an impact on perceptions of the United States abroad.