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DACA, President Trump, and the Lasting Impacts

On June 18th, the United States Supreme Court blocked President Donald Trump’s attempt to end the immigration policy known as DACA.

DACA, also known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was an executive order issued during President Barack Obama’s administration. The goal behind the program was to allow immigrants who entered as minors to apply, under DACA, for a two year renewable period of deferred action from deportation. In addition, the program would allow these migrants to obtain a work permit.

Since President Trump has entered office, he has worked towards ending this program. Starting early in his campaign, President Trump announced that he intended to immediately terminate DACA. However, at the end of his campaign he announced that he would try to deal with the DACA issue with heart and compassion so as to make those Dreamers proud.

On September 5th 2017, however, President Trump ordered an end to DACA. Additionally, on November 1st, 2017 a terrorist attack in New York city perpetrated by an individual on a green card caused President Trump to take a countermeasure that not only took down DACA but also an attempt to take down the program known as the Diversity Visa Lottery. This policy was debated by the president and several senators leading to a government shutdown, the longest one in history.

This argument went to the Supreme Court, where the legality of the repealment of DACA was debated. Oral arguments began November 2019 and decisions on this matter came back on June 18th, 2020. The 5-4 decision in the Supreme Court concluded that President Trump’s attempt was not legal and as such, invalid.

President Trump fired back at the decision claiming that the Supreme Court's decision was simply based on the fact that the paperwork submitted did not meet the standards that the court required. He assured people that he would be submitting new paperwork to meet those standards in order to end the program.

The issue with the ruling was that it took issue with the manner in which President Trump attempted to end DACA. This meant that the president was free to try and dismantle the program once the proper procedure was followed.

The issue with trying to dismantle DACA is that it would displace the nearly 690,000 to 800,000 recipients of this program. However, since the 2017 attempt to end the program, no more applications are being taken.

With regards to the economy and the country as a whole, DACA has not had an identifiable negative impact. A big argument against DACA is that the program allows many individuals into the country, many of whom contribute to the rising crime rate in America. However, it has been proven that individuals who immigrate to the country both legal and illegal are equally likely to commit crime; one is not more likely than the other.

In the coming months, it will be clear to the American people whether or not DACA will be coming to a permanent end. If it does, thousands upon thousands of these people who are reliant on DACA will have to find another way to stay in the country.

As less and less application renewals are being looked at, the consequences that these individuals face are enormous. In addition to losing their legal protection against deportation, many would lose access to work permits, meaning they would most likely lose their jobs. In addition to harming the workers themselves, it would hurt the economy, as 89% of those on DACA are currently active in the workforce.

If DACA were to end, the consequences on the American society would not be insignificant. President Trump, however, seems to not want to back down from this issue. He and many other conservative individuals feel strongly that the program is doing more harm than good in allowing more immigrants to enter the country. Only time will tell what will happen to the program.

Author: Preksha Rao

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