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The Destiny Of A Dreamer Student

What Is DACA? Who Are the Dreamers? DACA is an abbreviation and can be pronounced as an acronym of “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” – an “executive order” signed by President Obama in 2014. DACA allows some individuals who entered the United States of America illegally before they were 16 years of age (labeled “dreamers”) to receive a renewable two-year reprieve from the threat of deportation. People who are recipients of DACA are able to be legally employed, legally drive an automobile, and (most importantly), remain in the U.S.A. This paper will offer some answers that will provide a better understanding of who are those Dreamers and the meaning of DACA.

The U.S.A. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) has “resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA” (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). (2018, June 23). From reading the article “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)” by Department of Homeland Security (#7) It is a clearly and understandable that the author’s view that President Obama took a step forward to ensure that “dreamer” students would receive immigration relief because they were brought by their parents when they were children. Some of the “dreamers” do not know any nation other than the U.S.A. The author feels that President Obama did not have another alternative because the immigration legislation failed to receive a “three-fifths vote in the Senate”; however, the bill did receive a simple majority in favor of 55-41 according to Scott and Toeplitz (Wong, et al., 2010) (#10). This quote demonstrates why President Obama used an executive order to relieve the young students. Furthermore, it allowed young, “undocumented immigrants” who were brought to the United States of America by their parents to legally work, drive, and remain in the United States of America. This action, according to the author, was taken by President Obama for the most vulnerable – for those who did not decide to be here but were brought here by their parents while they were children. However, the migratory relief is only temporary and renewable every two years, until the U.S.A. Congress changes federal law to accommodate people currently living unlawfully in the United States of America. Previously (during 2001), a bill (S.1291) was introduced that would have benefitted children who were brought by their parents before they turned 16 years old. “DACA recipients are often referred to as Dreamers, after a similar piece of legislation called the Dream Act, which was introduced in 2001 and would have given its “beneficiaries a path to American citizenship,” according to 2001-107th Congress 2002 ((DREAM ACT, 1291, 2001, p. 11) (#11). Some believe that there is a possibility that the students who benefit from the “executive order” granted by President Obama will someday in the future be granted U.S.A. citizenship. Certainly, that will not happen immediately. However, there is a possibility. According to Bill S.1291, proposed during 2001-2002, some people living in the U.S.A. illegally would be given the opportunity to apply for temporary or conditional two-year, legal residential status. This could be renewed three times, then could be adjusted to the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence. After being granted the conditional permanent residence, immigrants could follow the path to USA citizenship after being law-abiding permanent residents for more than five continuous years” (DREAM ACT, 1291, 2001, p. 11) (#11). The Bill illustrates how some have hope that DACA’s recipients may qualify for U.S.A. citizenship if they meet all of the criteria specified by the USCIS, the DHS. According to the U.S.A. Department of Homeland Security, an individual may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if that person meets several restrictions. The restrictions for the person are you:

“1 – Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012; 2 – Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday; 3 – Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time; 4 – Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS; 5 – Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012; 6 – Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and 7-Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety” according to The “United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (DHS, 2018).

Therefore, after years of Congress failing to deal with the nation’s millions of illegal residents. Some claim that what President Barack Obama did was a gesture of responsibility and kindness to protect these young people who did not choose to come to the United States of America of their own volition. Yet as children following their parents’ paths. In addition, some contend that we must support them because their future is also ours as well.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an executive order that “was introduced during 2012 by President Barack Obama as a ‘stopgap’ measure that would shield from deportation people who entered the United States of America as children,” according to the article entitled “What Is DACA? Who Are the Dreamers?” (Dickerson Robbins, (2018) (#48). The status is renewable, lasting two years at a time. The program does not provide a pathway to citizenship (Dickerson Robbins, (2018) (#48). In other words, DACA’s recipients will not be eligible to become USA citizens unless legislation is written and signed that gives DACA participants the opportunity to apply for USA citizenship.

Argument for keeping DACA

The U.S.A. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA (DHS, 2018). From reading the article “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)” by Department of Homeland Security, I can clearly understand that the author’s view that President Obama took a step forward to ensure that “dreamer” students would receive immigration relief because they were brought by their parents when they were children. Some of the “dreamers” do not know any nation other than the U.S.A. The author clearly feels that President Obama did not have another alternative because the immigration legislation failed to receive a “three-fifths vote in the Senate”; however, the bill did receive a simple majority in favor of 55-41 according to Scott and Toeplitz (Wong, et al., 2010) (www.politico.com, 2010). This quote demonstrates why President Obama used an executive order to relieve the young students.

Furthermore, it allowed young, “undocumented immigrants”, who were brought to the United States of America by their parents, to legally work, drive, and remain in the United States of America. This action, according to the author, was taken by President Obama for the most vulnerable – for those who did not decide to be here, but were brought by their parents while they were children. However, the migratory relief is only temporary and renewable every two years, until the U.S.A. Congress changes federal law to accommodate people currently unlawfully living in the United States of America. Previously (during 2001), a bill (S.1291) was introduced which would benefit children who were brought by their parents while they were children before they turn 16 years old. “DACA recipients are often referred to as Dreamers, after a similar piece of legislation called the Dream Act, which was introduced in 2001 and would have given its “beneficiaries a path to American citizenship,” according to 2001-107th Congress 2002 (2001, p. 11).

Some people believe that there is a possibility that the students who benefit from the “executive order” granted by President Obama will someday in the future be granted U.S.A. citizenship. Certainly, that will not happen immediately. But, there is a possibility. According to Bill S.1291 that was proposed during 2001-2002, some people living in the U.S.A. illegally would be given the opportunity to apply for a temporal or conditional two-year, legal residential status. This could be renewed three times, then could be adjusted to the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence. After being granted the conditional permanent residence, immigrants could follow the path to USA citizenship after being law-abiding permanent residents during more than five continuously years” (DREAM ACT, 1291, 2001, p. 11). This illustrates how some have hope that DACA recipients may qualify for U.S.A. citizenship if they meet all the criteria specified by the USCIS, the DHS, etc. According to the U.S.A. Department of Homeland Security, an individual may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if that person meets the restrictions. The restrictions for the person are, you:

“1 – Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012; 2 – Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday; 3 – Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time; 4 – Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS; 5 – Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012; 6 – Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and 7-Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety” according to The “United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (DHS, 2018).

Therefore, after years of Congress “failing to deal with” the nation’s millions of illegal residents, some claim that what President Barack Obama did was a gesture of responsibility to protect these young people who did not choose to come to the United States of America of their own volition, but as children following their parents’ paths. In addition, some contend that we must support them because their future is also ours as well.

In the “Bill S.1291”, the author argues, “about after more than a decade of failed negotiations in Congress” over how to deal with the Dreamers. The Dream Act never passed, but it gained widespread popularity among the American electorate and, at various points, both houses of Congress, hatching much of the political activism that is propelling the current debate” (DREAM ACT, 1291, 2001, p. 11). This piece of evidence is viewed as explaining how President Barack Obama supported the young students, because in both congressional chambers an agreement regarding a “comprehensive” change in immigrations laws seemed impossible to reach. As a result of this, President Obama is said to have had an obligation to grant relief from the threat of deportation. For example, in the article “Nation Tracker: Americans weigh in on Trump immigration remarks, first year in office” the author – Anthony Salvanto, claims, “most Americans – 70 percent – favor DACA” (Nation Tracker, 2018, January 14) (www.cbsnews.com) (#8). Salvanto wrote that this is important because, thanks to the action of the U.S.A. President, the “dreamers” can continue with their dreams and advance in life. In addition, these young dreamers can continue their lives free of personal deportation concern and at the same time contribute to the nation in a legal way.

Evidently, DACA’s recipients, if issued their immigration papers such as a green card or a permanent resident visa, will be able to stay and work legally in the United States of America. Also, they will be able to achieve their dreams and contribute to this nation culturally and economically with their abilities. According to the text, “The mind-boggling cost of DACA repeal” by John Hudak (Hudak Kamarck, 2017), it is clear that “a 2017 study from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy” estimated that Dreamers pay as much as $2 billion annually in taxes”. This is presented as evidence that these people, if immigration relief is provided, will be able to contribute more to this nation. Because they will have more opportunity to work lawfully, they will spend their money, and taxes will be collected from them. Many experts argue that if USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) or the DHS “deport the approximately 800,000 Dreamers, that would cost the government nearly $10 billion” (www.brookings.edu., 2017). Therefore, one can see the argument that, if USCIS gives legal documentation to these dreamers, the USA will benefit from the work of young people who did not choose to move to the USA but were brought by a parent.

Evidence supporting this benefit to our nation includes DACA recipient statistics such as: 66% went from unemployed to employed after receiving DACA; 79% landed what they considered to be a “better job”; 68% worked better hours; 64% earned a higher salary; 41% are in employment that provides medical-care insurance or other benefits.; 77% reported that they now are able to more consistently cover bills; and 78% are better able to contribute to monthly household expenses” (Wong, et al., 2017) (#45).

Because of these statistics, some argue that our Congress must change immigration laws for a working and responsible community such as young dreamers as well as for the improvement of this nation of immigrants. Many experts argue that DACA recipients are making significant contributions to the economy by “buying cars and first homes, which translate into more revenue for states and localities in the form of sales and property taxes. Some are even using their entrepreneurial talents to help create new jobs and further spur economic growth by starting their own businesses” (Wong, et al., 2017) (#45). This is said to illustrate how important, urgent, and significant provide an immigration benefit to those who qualify could be (because the recipients will be supportive of the nation’s economy and its future).

Perhaps there are some people who argue that illegal residents do not subsidize to this nation. But, I believe that these immigrants do contribute to U.S.A. culture with their languages, arts, and culinary heritages that they inherited from their parents and the nations of their ancestries. If these immigrants are safe and secure from the threat of personal deportation, they can participate in city events, express their ideas, and contribute their knowledge. Furthermore, if they are protected, immigrants can participate in the majority of the community’s needs such as school events with their children. Understandably, a nation benefits from welcoming immigrants who bring with them rich recipes and new ideas. If they feel safe and sheltered, they will be willing to report crime, which will result in police being able to solve more cases and arrest criminals.

In the article, “New Study of DACA Beneficiaries Shows Positive Economic and Educational Outcomes”, the author claims, “the results also show that DACA may be a strong motivator of civic participation: The 2016 survey found that 41 percent of respondents have immediate family members who are U.S.A. citizens over age 18 and that 80 percent of these family members are registered to vote” ((Wong, et al., 2017) (#45). This piece of evidence explains that DACA’s recipients willing to participate in social and political development will benefit their communities. Furthermore, dreamer students – DACA recipients will be more active, and likely to obtain better opportunities and increase their civic participation.

Since the Obama administration created DACA in 2012, illegal immigrants under the age of 31 have received a two-year delay on deportation. Those illegal immigrants who received their temporal residency could contribute to social and cultural activities. “This model — called the Stages of Immigrant Parent Involvement” illustrates that parents’ needs, skills, and interests “evolve” through the stages of Cultural Survivor, Cultural Learner, Cultural Connector, and Cultural Leader” (Han, Love, 2015) (#40). This illustrates to me how important DACA is so that recipients can become part of this cultural connection in their communities. Furthermore, these students are the future of a new generation which will share its teachings and help to make this nation even better than what it is. In addition, they can be leaders who will lead this country. If they are not supported today, then when? They do not ‘recognize’ any nation other than this one. They will be able to form their own families and offer to their children a better future by teaching them about these important stages: Cultural Survivor, Cultural Learner, Cultural Connector, and Cultural Leader.

Argument against DACA

Some condemn that illegal immigrants come to the United States of America to take advantage of USA citizens by taking their jobs and living off the government social safety net: social benefit, food stamps, free education, medical benefits, etc. Moreover, illegal immigrants threaten the wellbeing of others because they have criminal backgrounds including but not limited to convictions of burglary, murder, and drug-dealing. Furthermore, DACA recipients place the United States of America’s economy in jeopardy because the majority of recipients have not earned a degree in higher education (although a small number of them have multiple higher degrees). And finally, the people protected by DACA destroy the U.S.A. in more ways than one.

A study published on August 31, 2017 (“Research on Dreamers Contradicts Public Image”) was based on an Internet survey of more than 2,000 self-described DACA-eligible respondents. Findings of this survey revealed that: 20% have dropped out of high school; 20% have no education beyond high school and have no plans to attend college; and only 45% have increase their earnings after being helped by DACA (Vaughan, 2017, cis.org) (#2).

This shows that “dreamer” students in the future will be an economic burden to the United States of America’s system. It confirms that not everyone has the interest to continue with studies. Because not everyone has the awareness to continue with a professional education; this effectively proves that students only want to benefit from “migratory relief” instead of supporting a future that benefits the United States of America (as you can see in the statistics that “59 percent obtained a new job with a DACA work permit, but only 45 percent increased their overall earnings” (Vaughan, 2017, cis.org) (#2). Therefore, it is not convenient to pass migratory relief for these young people who only want to regularize their immigration status.

In the article “A Profile of Current DACA Recipients by Education, Industry, and Occupation”, the author, Zong J, makes clear that “DACA recipients are more likely than non-DACA men to be enrolled in college (20 percent versus 15 percent), but less likely to be working (48 percent versus 64 percent)” (Zong, Soto, Batalova, Gelatt, Capps, 2018) (#3). This is important information because these men will not contribute to the economic and social development of the nation. If the study indicates that there is a probability that men will not continue with their studies at the professional level, then what would be the benefit for our nation? If the immigration system provides citizenship for these DACA recipients – but the nation will not benefit from them – there is no point in supporting this immigration issue.

Furthermore, the text titled “A Profile of Current DACA Recipients by Education, Industry, and Occupation” points out that “while significant numbers of DACA recipients are employed in professional occupations, the most common industries of employment are hospitality, retail trade, construction, education, health and social services, and professional services” (Zong, Soto, Batalova, Gelatt, Capps, 2018) (#3). Because of this, the United States of America (Immigration branch) cannot support the immigration relief or immigration benefit to dreamer students because engagement in professional jobs requires a high level of education – especially in health and professional services. Therefore, DACA recipients must be qualified and educated to engage in the future development of the United States of America – to be hired for quality industries in which they may be needed. Otherwise, this nation will end in a chaotic situation.

Finally, The Trump administration recently announced plans to “rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals-DACA, (Apuzzo Ruiz, 2017) (#4). This illustrates that President Trump and Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions contemplate ending the controversial policy enacted by President Barack Obama in 2012 to protect and shelter undocumented immigrants (who entered the U.S.A. as minors) from deportation.

Immediately after this announcement, organizations and politicians filed a lawsuit to stop President Trump’s plan. A federal judge agreed with those filing the lawsuit. Because of the judicial ruling, those previously granted DACA may request renewal by filing Form I-821D. So, due to federal court orders on “January 9, 2018 and February 13, 2018, USCIS has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA” (www.uscis.gov, 2018) (#5)

Conclusion:

Instead of separating people by their race, ethnicity, or place of birth, we should become united as a nation, as a community, and as a whole. “Dreamers” are Americans, and should be preserved as such. When the United States of America is the only home that they have known, I think that laws should be changed to allow them to live here. In my opinion, ending DACA and making hundreds of thousands of people leave would be wrong. There is no shiny lining to President Trump’s plan to “hate” these young people by another executive order, reverting what President Obama did in 2014, for what reason? To show his power and somehow to please those who “hate” immigrants. Or for the simple reason he “dislikes” immigrants or he may “hate” Latinos because Dreamers benefit no one, but only please those who “hate” immigrants whose only reason is persuasive for their happiness. Liberty, happiness, and life are beautiful things that we must preserve, although they are difficult to achieve. When goals related to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness are reached, they will be much appreciated. Because good things always cost so much, fighting against everything difficult that keeps us from life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness will produce something beautiful. And why not those Dreamers?

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