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Trump’s suspension of DACA shows moral bankruptcy


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After Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last Tuesday that the Trump administration was ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, chants of “Shame!” and “Si se puede” echoed around the White House gates and the Department of Justice. The Obama-era policy, which allowed undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to receive social security cards enabling them to work and attend school, has been hugely popular among members of both parties.

Trump’s decision to end the program before it expired in March of next year perfectly portrays the moral bankruptcy of the system which rejects empathy and embraces competitive partisan squabbling, regardless of human, environmental and economic costs. DACA was hardly an ‘amnesty-first’ initiative, as its Republican opponents (Sessions being the most notable among them) often deride; rather, it was a compassionate act recognizing the humanity and value of young adults who were brought to this country as mere children.

The young men and women who are DACA recipients have been slandered by Republicans in the media. Among the biggest deceptive accusations brought against them are the claims that they are criminals who steal jobs from citizens. Opponents also argue that the policy was an illegal exercise of executive authority.

‘Dreamers,’ as recipients of the program’s benefits are often called, are not violent criminals. In fact, they must possess a clean record to even be considered for the program. These are not operatives of some hostile foreign state; they are hardworking people willing to risk their residency in this country in order to play by the rules. They are not taking jobs from citizens either. Unemployment is currently very low thanks to our growing economy and, in part, policies such as DACA. According to the New York Times, deporting Dreamers could cause a $400 billion loss over the coming decade. Finally, the policy is not unconstitutional. The president is granted the authority to determine the priorities of law enforcement and immigration by the constitution.

However, the real problem with the decision to rescind DACA lies much deeper than any of the above arguments. DACA is a humanitarian policy. It acknowledged the fact that, for many of its recipients, the United States is the only home they have ever known. They want to work and pay taxes and support their families. They want to attend school and learn how to better their lot in life. They have the same goals and dreams as any other American their age. What’s more, they have the same right to strive for these dreams in the country they call home as any citizen does.

The heart of the administration’s decision is rooted in this: politics, and their idiotic, competitive nature, which is more valuable than the hopes and dreams of children and young adults. The falsehood of that equation should be apparent to Trump, Sessions and the scores of attorneys general who threatened to sue the administration before the decision was made. Incredibly, few things cause me to become disillusioned with the idea of government as a whole, but this is one of them.

One of my good friends from my hometown received his social security card thanks to DACA about three weeks ago. He was lucky. The administration should correct this heartless, irresponsible and, frankly, idiotic action as soon as possible. Until that time, I urge all reading this article to call their representative and senator and demand action. These people deserve to feel secure in their own homes.

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Trump’s suspension of DACA shows moral bankruptcy