It’s Time to R.A.I.S.E. The Stakes With DACA

October 10, 2017 | Alex Hagen-Frederiksen

Immigration in the United States is a difficult issue to address both politically and emotionally. Immigration has allowed for millions to become a part of this great nation, but it has also effected many others in negative forms. Corporate entities abuse our immigration laws to replace Americans with underpaid, and in many cases illegal, foreign labor.

Since Trump’s election, immigration has become one of the highlight issues of the political battlefield.

Progressives for Immigration Reform believes that our planet and our country are in dire straits. We cannot sustain our current way of life and an increasing population, and therefore must implement crucial and fair population stabilization to aid our environment. General amnesty will not protect our environment or our economy. Many conflate the label “Dreamers” with all 11 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States, when this is simply not the case. It is important to establish that DACA, and the Dream Act, only apply to a specific subset of our illegal immigrant population.

The term “Dreamers” refers to the Dream Act, or the “Development, Relief, & Education for Alien Minors” Act, was a bill that would offer a pathway to permanent legal residency to those who arrived in the country illegally as minors. The bill, which failed to pass in 2012, was succeeded by President Obama’s Executive Order known as DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA allowed those under 31 before June 15, 2012, to apply for a deportation deferment. Applicants are vetted for any criminal history or national security threat, and must be students or have completed school or military service. If they pass vetting, action to deport them is deferred for two years, with a chance to renew, and become eligible for a driver’s license, college enrollment or a work permit.

With President Trump’s decision to allow DACA to expire, it is now up to Congress to decide on a solution. Americans ordinarily remain partisan on the issue of immigration, but on DACA there is agreement: 84 percent of Democrats, 74 percent of independents and 69 percent of Republicans think DACA recipients should stay, and only 24 percent of Republicans, 12 percent of independents and 8 percent of Democrats say that Dreamers should be deported.  This could mean that there would be bipartisan support for a DACA relief bill.

There are currently 799,077 DACA recipients in the United States. We feel that a permanent solution to DACA is a small price to pay to safeguard those who have only ever known American soil, but stand by our commitment to broader immigration reform. The currently proposed Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act, known as RAISE, would implement strong but fair reforms to our currently outdated immigration system. It will reduce levels of legal immigration by the end of the decade, and will create a merit-based point system that prioritizes skilled, young immigrants. While there were rumors that the White House was planning compromises on DACA in exchange for reform, Trump has effectively dashed any hopes of a bipartisan deal with his demands for a wall in exchange for DACA relief. 

We promote the reduction of illegal immigration to the United States, but as we have stated before, building a wall along our entire southern border would be a massive waste of government resources and taxpayer dollars. Our President needs to realize this, and come to terms with our desperate need for substantial reform. We urge you to contact your representatives in congress to let them know that you want a fair solution to immigration reform.

 

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