by Meredith Rogers
It is a central belief of the American society that if you put in the effort and hard work you will be rewarded for it. This was also in President Obama’s mind when he implemented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy back in 2012. With the aim to protect those who were brought to America illegally as minors, it gave hope to the young adults, who wanted to get an education and take part of the American Dream.
The DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education of Alien Minors) Act, introduced first by Dick Durbin and Orrin Hatch back in August 2001, began a subtle shift in the minds of American people. Those, who were merely seen as lawbreakers and unwanted illegals a decade earlier, were now being slowly included to the society. Obama went as far as calling the “Dreamers” friends and fellow Americans, who share our core values and goals.
Now that is all about to change, once again. Pressured by 11 attorneys general, president Trump decided to rescind DACA in early September 2017.
While it was no secret that Trump was brought into office largely because of his hard stance against immigration, it was an unexpected move for many, even in the Republican party. First and foremost, because it was unclear what kind of issues it would resolve. It seems that some people in our country simply do not understand why DACA matters.
Some immigration hardliners argue that the rescission of DACA would give many jobs back to native-born Americans, but there is little evidence to support this claim. The six-month wait period, while Congress makes up its mind about this issue, offers little or no relief to those affected. No one knows exactly what will happen after that.
So what is the worst case scenario? Considering the enormous backlash to his decision it is unlikely that all of the 800.000 people covered by DACA will be deported. If it were to go ahead, it could cost American taxpayers almost half a trillion dollars in the economic downturn, according to Center for American Progress. More likely scenario, however, would be a selective implementation of such law. This means that immigration officials can soon pick and choose who they want to deport and why, leaving the door open for countless abuses of power.
The move, which is seen by many as cruel and short-sighted, remains a divisive issue and was challenged in court by 15 states and District of Columbia a day after it was announced. Now California, Maine, Maryland and Minnesota have all filed separate lawsuits against the rescission. So it is clear that the fight is not over yet. Meanwhile, the DACA recipients face an uncertain future and a stay in a legal limbo while waiting for the courts to decide their fate.