On Tuesday, a federal judge in California blocked Trump’s effort to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act (DACA). Trump then responded by tweeting about how unfair the decision was (perhaps the unfair part was him taking away 800,000 immigrants’ basic human rights).
Though DACA is still not completely safe under the current administration, this order allows for DACA applicants to resume their enrollments and further impede deportation while also taking new applicants in. This is a pivotal step in resisting the constant attack on immigrants that the Trump administration is presenting, but this does not constitute the end.
DACA, initiated by the Obama Administration in 2012, essentially provides young immigrants with a temporary postponement of deportation. This bill granted numerous resources to immigrants that would otherwise not have been attainable. It is important to understand the immense aid this act gave to young people in applying to college, obtaining a driver’s license and more fundamental activities that require a social security number. In 2017, however, Trump had announced that he would be revoking the act. After myriad protests nationwide, it became evident that this act was not being taken away without a proper fight. While DACA permitted short-term residency for immigrants, the DREAM act takes it a step further. The key difference between DACA and the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act is that the DREAM act provides permanent residency for young immigrants in the United States and that they would not have to renew their enrollment every two years—it also allows dreamers to acquire a green card. The act would not only grant protection to young immigrants, but also create easier access to opportunities in the U.S.
The mental health aspect is one we must also consider: the stress and disquietude paves way for mental health instability within dreamers because of the stress and disquietude of being taken away from their loved ones and being forced to go somewhere that is not familiar to them. The DREAM act would put young dreamers at ease because they would know that their futures are secured and looked out for, not on the verge of destruction. Dreamers have become accustomed to living in America and consider it to be their home; their immigration status should not be something that holds them back from their own endeavors. These are people, not just mere numbers, with dreams and ambitions.
An immigrant’s worth in this country should not be based on their economic value. They are not commodities, they are human beings who reserve the right to come into this country and live their own lives. This judge’s order is definitely wonderful news, but we must push harder. This is a temporary solution to an inevitable fear faced by hundreds of thousands throughout the country. There should be no constant panic of deportation. A young person should be granted the resources they need in order to succeed. We need to push towards diminishing the stigma that immigrants should be merely given the bare minimum and expected to thrive in a system that is against them. As human beings, we must care for and look out for others in this time of need. Be vocal on social media, call your local officials and urge them to support the act!