Opinion: It’s time to stand up for DACA

Maddie Newingham

Maddie Newingham

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is an American immigration policy the Obama administration established five years ago, meant to allow DACA recipients to stay in our country, work and attend school.

Moving forward, I will never use the dehumanizing terminology of “DACA recipients,” as I will explain below.

DACA is important because it keeps people who have never done anything wrong in the only country they know.

“Dreamers,” these kids of which I speak, came to this country with their parents and are now an average of 26 years old, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

This means students in your classes are Dreamers, young adults who are American in every way.

They grew up in our communities, paid taxes and endeavored on a journey for the American Dream.

Evidently, President Donald Trump needed to feel good about himself, and wanted a cry of joy from his anti-immigrant base, so he decided to attack another policy passed by the Obama administration.

This wasn’t because he has a real stance on immigration, but because he needed the attention of his minute base, which does not reflect the majority of the populous.

If you don’t care about politics, chances are you may not be reading my columns. But, if you are, here is why you should care about the 800,000 Americans who live their lives tangent with yours:

These Americans came here, on average, when they were six years old.

No parent is going to leave a six-year-old behind because they are breaking the law for a better life; rather, they’d bring their child with them to give them a better life with better opportunities in a country that promises exactly that.

These kids have never known another home. They grew up in our picket-fence suburban neighborhoods and our inner cities, and they cheer for our sports teams. They pay their taxes to be here, and contribute to our economy and diverse culture.

We must call our representatives in the Senate and House to fight for Dreamers’ livelihoods.

Look at the bigger picture: There are two problems with this conversation about DACA:

First, a president cannot pass off an issue to Congress when he wants to take no responsibility, and hope it goes well for those affected.

 The president has the power to do something for these people, but has sat down to plan his next post-election campaign stop and golf outing.

Second, and most significant, we must talk about immigration reform. Now is the opportune moment, and we cannot miss our chance to stand up for those in our communities.

Dreamers and their parents came here the way they did because it takes over a decade to be recognized as an American citizen.

We cannot be a country that promises the ‘American Dream’ to all, only to pull the rug out from under them.

Anyone who wants to come here and pursue their definition of the American Dream should be able to.

We are the land of opportunity, and we cannot pride ourselves on that unless we make a change and stand with those who want the opportunities that were promised to them.

Maddie Newingham is a columnist. Contact her at [email protected]