Mass deportations loom as Trump axes DACA

The DREAM Act: There have been protests by and for Dreamers in cities all across America.

Should Trump have axed DACA? Legislation designed to protect undocumented young immigrants is scrapped. Thousands of people could be deported if Congress does not agree a solution.

Activist Veronica Gomez was three years old when her parents brought her to the USA. She earned a B.A in Criminal Justice and now has ambitions to join the marines. However, yesterday Donald Trump scrapped DACA. Now the lives of Veronica and thousands just like her have been thrown into disarray.

DACA is a law established by Barack Obama which allowed people brought illegally to America as children to apply for temporary permits to live, work, and study. Now those young people could be deported from the only place they have ever called home.

There are 787,580 people, known as “Dreamers”, currently protected by DACA. The average age of these individuals when they arrived in America was , meaning that most are educated in and integrated into American society.

However, all those in the programme are now set to lose their protected status by March 2020. Also, any other undocumented migrants will no longer be allowed to apply for a permit.

The only way that “Dreamers” will be able to remain in the USA is if legislation is passed allowing them to stay. Trump encouraged Congress to find a solution tweeting "Congress, get ready to do your job - DACA!"

Congress has repeatedly failed to agree legislation regarding underage migrants. Barack Obama was forced to impose DACA as an executive order in 2012 after failing to pass the DREAM Act.

Though Trump promised to scrap DACA during his presidential campaign, many politicians urged him to preserve Obama's policy. Republican Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, pointed out: “These are kids that know no other country,” and Bernie Sanders called the move “one of the ugliest and cruellest decisions ever made by a president in our modern history.”

Recently, Trump himself expressed sympathy for those protected by DACA, stating: “DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me,” and even saying: “We love the Dreamers.” But Trump’s announcement of the change confirms that pressure from more extreme sections of the Republican Party is greater than any compassion he may feel.

American nightmare?

“DACA is unconstitutional and I support the ending of it,” argues Trump adviser Mark Burns, and many Trump supporters agree. Not only was the bill forced on the American people by executive order, it also does not alter the fact that these people entered the USA illegally and must be dealt with accordingly. It is good that Trump kept his promise.

“Ending DACA is harmful and unjust,” replies journalist Ilya Somin. Let us not forget that America is a nation built on the vision and energy of immigrants. These youngsters have grown up as Americans and make positive and lasting contributions to society. They should be celebrated; not criminalised.

You Decide

  1. Should Trump have axed DACA?
  2. Should illegal immigrants under a certain age be allowed to stay in America indefinitely?

Activities

  1. Write a letter to Donald Trump explaining why you support or disagree with his decision. Make sure you give several good reasons to back up your opinion.
  2. Research all of the executive orders which Trump has passed during his presidency. Do you agree or disagree with any of them?

Some People Say...

“Remember, remember always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
Donald Trump has followed through on his campaign promise to terminate the DACA programme established by Barack Obama. All those currently within the programme will lose their status by March 2020 and no new applicants will be accepted.
What do we not know?
If any individual previously protected by the DACA programme will ultimately be deported as a result of the order. It is now down to Congress to determine legislation which confirms the status of these individuals.

Word Watch

DACA
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Dreamers
Named after the DREAM Act, or Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. It was first introduced into the senate in 2001 but has failed to pass on multiple occasions.
The survey questioned 3,063 DACA recipients; it was conducted in August 2017 by Tom Wong of UC San Diego (for the liberal think tank the Centre for American Progress and other immigrant advocacy groups).
Congress
The legislative branch of the US government in which laws are passed. Also known as the house of representatives.
Executive order
When a president introduces a law without the authority of Congress. Because Obama only passed DACA through executive order, Trump has the power to reverse it. Trump enforced a number of executive orders at the start of his presidency.
Speaker of the House
The presiding officer of the house of representatives. The post is 3rd in line to the US presidency.
Bernie Sanders
Congressman representing Vermont. A left wing candidate during the 2016 presidential election, he lost the Democratic primary to Hilary Clinton.

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