The Politicker: Trump's announcement causes divide (Reuven Glezer)
The administration’s hardline anti-immigration stance has now given DACA an expiration date, killing the hopes and opportunities for nearly 800,000 people living in the United States. Endless statistics about how these recipients have benefited the economy and the gap their departure will leave, as well as stories about torn-up families, seem to be of no interest to the signers of the death order.
What will save DACA beneficiaries, however, is immediate action from the government beneath the executive branch but, as previously experienced, this is an unlikely turnout.
There has, of course, been more significant pushback. Janet Napolitano, the University of California’s president, filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s administration for violating the constitutional rights of the university system’s students who are studying under DACA, a policy she helped create.
While it remains to be seen whether legal action will impede the expiration date imposed upon DACA, the issue of where these undocumented immigrants will go has not yet been resolved. The most obvious answer might be that they will be deported, but that answer fails to realize the humanistic implications of deportation. The deportees would be returning to countries they barely know—countries their parents left in order to change their children's lives. It is not only legally murky, but cruel as well.
This also brings up the logistical issue of tracking who is illegal and who is not. It is not as simple as demanding that those living under DACA simply resign themselves. People will not be obliged to report themselves as the undocumented children of immigrants who came to the country against their will. Anyone involved in any private or public organization might be requested to comply with giving away who is undocumented. It becomes a guessing game that puts actual livelihoods at risk, all because this intolerable need to push away people who were not born in this country has emerged.
It is already incredibly difficult to legally become an immigrant in the United States and that is only if everything goes right. Living life as an illegal immigrant, especially one who came to the country with their family as a child, is terrifying, especially with the thought of losing the life one has built for themselves in an instant.
This is worse for DACA recipients who were required to give their personal contact information to the U.S. government under former President Barack Obama in order to qualify for DACA. The memorandum released by the White House offers no solutions or suggestions to expand their time in the United States, especially if they have jobs, debt or scholarships. It is a very well-worded “get out” sign, with where to go not mattering so long as it is not in the United States.
It seems fitting, and was no doubt planned, that Jeff Sessions, who has long hated DACA and all that it represented, announced that the policy would be coming to an end. It is like watching a smiling predator announce a new roundup plan for its prey.
Reuven is a junior studying Literary Form and Writing. He is the Managing Editor for Refract Magazine.