From generation to generation, one thing has been proven: immigrants make America great. Over the last five years specifically, more than 800k young undocumented immigrants – who have lived here for many years and are American in all but paperwork – have finally been able to contribute their skills, energy and resources to this country without the constant fear of deportation. With DACA, these young people have been able to become students, nurses, teachers, police officers, members of the military and more, undoubtedly improving the lives of those around them and strengthening their communities. They make America better.
But as a result of Donald Trump’s cruel and reckless decision to end DACA, there will be students wondering why their teacher can’t come to school anymore; patients wondering where their favorite nurse has gone. Robbing them of their ability to show up to work each day, contribute and earn money to support their families will not only upset their own lives and deprive them of the progress they have made toward achieving their American dream: it will also upset the lives of everyone around them. The president is going out of his way to sever human relationships and deprive our communities of some of their most valued members. Every American should be asking him: why?
The Obama administration created DACA within the confines of the law. Now, President Trump and Attorney General Sessions are calling DACA’s legality into question. But their concerns about DACA have never been about legality: even before he pardoned Sheriff Arpaio this was never about the rule of law. The question around DACA is about one thing: what are we going to do with these young people, who are American but deprived of the paperwork to show for it?
Make no mistake: Donald Trump is demolishing an overwhelmingly successful program supported by the majority of Americans, just to satisfy the misguided and ill-informed xenophobic bloodlust of a small minority (only a quarter of his own voters). In doing so, he is hurting America.
For our team at Define American, this is personal. We have colleagues, friends, family members and some of our amazing Define American College Chapter leaders who will no longer be able to go about their daily lives once DACA expires. To help: consider signing our petitions, which call on local leaders to protect who stand to lose DACA protections against deportation.