Illustration by Jen Kelly.

Keep the dream alive


Immigrants are the backbone of the United States, but anti-DACA protesters think they could do without them entirely.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a polarizing immigration policy that allows certain individuals to enter or remain in the United States, was established by the Obama administration on June 15, 2012.

Those who meet the guidelines for DACA receive a renewable deferred action, or immunity from deportation, for a period of two years and a work permit.

According to a Sept. 4, 2017 report by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are approximately 690,000 active DACA recipients, or Dreamers, of which about 548,000 are from Mexico. Trump repealed the DACA policy on Sept. 5, 2017, announcing the termination of the policy on March 5.

However, the Supreme Court announced on Monday that they refuse to take up the case, leaving the fate of Dreamers in limbo once again.

Center of American Progress said our country is estimated to lose $434 billion annually in gross domestic product if Congress decides to put a fork in DACA. What this means is the cost of goods and services would eventually rise with the success of mass deportation of immigrants. Inflation would further burden lower and middle class Americans who make up the better part of the U.S., while wealthy elites remain virtually immune to financial setbacks. In other words, economic inequality would worsen as a result of deporting Dreamers.

Deporting Dreamers would diminish diversity, which would favor white nationalists who wish to establish cultural dominance. Further, the lack of culture in the United States would ruin the overall character of our country, replacing our melting pot for something less palatable.

Despite the widespread fallacy that immigrants take away jobs from American citizens, or overindulge in government benefits, the truth is immigrants contribute to economic growth.

“Immigrants contribute mightily to the economy, by paying billions in annual taxes, by filling low-wage jobs that keep domestic industry competitive and by spurring investment and job-creation, revitalizing once-decaying communities,” Douglas P. Shuit and Patrick McDonnel of the L.A. Times said. “Many social scientists conclude that the newcomers, rather than drain government treasuries, contribute overall far more than they utilize in services.”

But intolerance carries on as the Trump administration and anti-DACA hardliners push to bring an end to the DACA policy, which would result in the wrongful deportation of people who enhance the wellbeing of Americans. Undocumented immigrants who commit heinous crimes do exist, but that is far from the majority of law-abiding immigrants who are trying to make better lives for themselves in the land of the free.

While the fate of Dreamers remains uncertain, pro-DACA supporters are urged to get involved. Reliable resources to protect Dreamers are available online, including American Civil Liberties Union and National Immigration Law Center. United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led network in the country. They offer tools and strategies to take action, such as launching grassroots campaigns or signing a petition to Congress that endorses DACA.

Power in numbers can make a difference, as we recently witnessed on a local level with the removal of the McKinley statue. Educate yourselves with immigration policies, pertaining specifically to DACA, so you can stand up for what is right if you run into anti-DACA supporters.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, has been raiding immigrants under the dominance of federal law, including Dreamers in sanctuary cities. Another way of supporting Dreamers is assisting them in the event of a raid, such as translation or explaining their rights. Understanding immigration policies during such a confrontation could make a world of a difference.

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