Ending DACA is a mistake

Sam Rosenblatt, Opinions Co-Editor

On Sept. 5, President Donald Trump ordered the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an immigration policy that has protected undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as minors from deportation.

Five years after the program’s implementation by former President Barack Obama, DACA will come to an end on March 5, 2020. Congress has until then to create a replacement bill, or else the 800,000 individuals enrolled in DACA will be at risk of deportation.

Rescinding DACA sparked major controversy among opponents of Trump’s anti-immigrant beliefs and rhetoric as well as with those who simply did not support the deportation of those protected by DACA.

Nonetheless, the action can serve as a relative win-win for Trump. First, he pleases his core supporters who wanted to terminate DACA after the failure of Trump’s travel bans. Second, the president shifts the burden of DACA to Congress, creating an ultimatum for them to resolve the issue or allow the deportation of 800,000 people.

Still, these fates will ultimately be tied back to Trump, who has claimed the act is “unfair” and “victimizes” U.S. citizens by taking away their job opportunities.

In response to Trump’s action, Obama wrote in a lengthy Facebook post, “Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us.”

In fact, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle do not wish to send these undocumented immigrants back to countries that they may have never known. This bipartisan agreement has yet to translate into the passage of any significant legislation on immigration.

Even if Congress does assemble a legal replacement to DACA before March, it’s unfortunate that such drastic measures are necessary to provoke action on immigration. Likewise, it’s frustrating to see how polarizing the issue of immigration is in general. On the one hand, politicians are heartless to consider deporting individuals who have lived virtually their entire lives in the United States. Those enrolled in DACA may have a different home country, but for many of them, America is their true home. On the other hand, politicians are arguably being unfair to people taking the proper steps to immigrating to America when they move to protect undocumented or illegal immigrants.

Immigration policy can be a losing situation for everyone involved. Some cut the line to enter the United States as quickly as possible, jeopardizing their own ability to permanently remain in the country and leaving behind those who wait patiently to be granted legal entry. Moreover, a politician involved in the matter can create more enemies than friends when choosing a side.

While DACA currently lies in the hands of Congress, any legislative failure does not give Trump a clean slate on immigration; the onus of these 800,000 lives is on Trump. In a so-far unprecedented tenure of controversial decisions, the president might manage to trump them all by enabling the potential deportation of so many innocent people.

Immigration is evidently a complicated issue — an issue in which Trump has made the wrong choice.

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