Dreamers Take a Stand

Riley Lovato, Reporter

In 2012 the Obama Administration announced a new policy called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). It was created so that certain immigrants could avoid deportation with the help of a work permit limited to two years.

There are many requirements for undocumented immigrants to be granted a work permit. For example, applicants must be under 31 as of June 15, 2012; they must have been younger than 16 when they moved to the U.S.; have lived in the U.S. since 2007.

Recently, President Donald Trump announced that he will be phasing out the program. If congress votes in favor of getting rid of DACA, 800,000 undocumented immigrants who are protected by the program will be at risk of deportation.

President Trump is often scrutinized by his opposing political parties, yet this decision has seemed to cause the most uproar.

Mario Bravo, a senior at GJHS, receives DACA and has strong opinions regarding the President’s decision to terminate the program. DACA has provided him many opportunities, as well as thousands of other qualifying recipients, which could all be reversed if President Trump gets his way.

“[Living in the U.S.] is important because it is a more secure and safe place than it is in my home country. The opportunities are greater, and it is also my homeland. I have lived here all my life and have no childhood there,” Bravo said. Bravo moved to the United States when he was just eight months old and has been here ever since. “I guess you could say I’m an ‘American,’” Bravo said.

Many people immigrate to the United States in hopes to pursue the American Dream. “[DACA] has been influential in my life to receive a job, get a driver’s license, and almost be ‘normal,’” Bravo said. Without programs like these, immigrants can expect more hardships to face when planning for the future.

“My future looks more difficult when applying for a job or license or even applying to college. It is also going to be harder as my DACA expires because it will not protect me against authorities and getting sent back to Mexico,” Bravo said.

While opinions on this matter may be heavily contrasted, the facts cannot be debated. If congress approves of removing DACA, thousands of immigrants benefitting from the program, most of whom are still minors, will face the harsh repercussions of deportation to their home countries they have never known.