Political Perspectives: How DACA questions Trump’s morality

Political perspectives is a column that focuses on providing different opinions on important political issues from UNCW students.

Genevieve Guenther

Political perspectives is a column that focuses on providing different opinions on important political issues from UNCW students.

Kristen Rodriguez, Contributing Writer

President Donald Trump is once again faced with the task of keeping one of his campaign promises, getting rid of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The President has been approached about his plans for DACA repeatedly since taking office, by the press as well as members of immigrant communities and those who represent them, but has pushed it off. It wasn’t until a press conference held by Sarah Huckabee Sanders on September 1 that a final day for the decision was announced, Tuesday September 5.

During his campaign, President Trump made it clear that he did not approve of DACA, which he believed to be unconstitutional (which it is not). One of his promises on the campaign trail was to remove it, day one. However, over the course of his 226-day presidency, he has appeared to be softening on his stance, saying “We are gonna deal with DACA with heart,” and “To me, it’s one of the most difficult subjects I have because you have these incredible kids — in many cases, not in all cases.” So, what does this mean? Well, currently it means that no one really knows where the President is taking this.

Here’s the rundown, DACA is an executive order put in place by former President Barack Obama that provides temporary deportation relief to anyone who was brought illegally to the United States by their parents as minors before June 15, 2012. When President Barack Obama made an announcement on his plan to push the Dream Act forward, from which DACA stems, he portrayed it as “…not a path to citizenship.  It’s not a permanent fix.  This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people.”

On top of DACA not being a permanent solution, it has a set number of requirements that make it more difficult to qualify for than most people might think. There is a web of dates and ages you must fit, forms and fees to pay, and every two years you need to go and renew your consideration, which proves to be very daunting on those who do so. It is a source of relief for people as well as another weight on their shoulders that provides hope, but also adds stress to their situation.

People who oppose DACA say that it gives way for foreigners to take jobs away from American citizens. Despite there being studies that show most undocumented immigrants who come to the United States work jobs that American citizens normally turn down such as working on dairy farms or other menial labor jobs. Of course, it isn’t farfetched to say that many who oppose DACA do so with an underlying tone of racism, but for others it’s strictly economical.

DACA questions the morality of the current administration. How do you go about punishing people who had no control over what laws they were breaking when they broke them? How do you send a person to a land they’ve never known? To a language they may not even speak? President Trump claims he has heart for the children who were brought into this, that it is the parents whom should be punished for breaking the law. How will his actions prove that to be true?

When the Obama administration was pushing for the Dream Act to go through, he emphasized that the people who fall under the qualifications of DACA are “…Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper.”

These are the things the Trump administration must consider before they make their decision. While it is unclear what that decision will be, what we do know is that there are many politicians on both sides of the aisle that want to keep DACA in place and many fighting to do so.