America Shouldn't Turn its Back on DACA
Donald Trump, as always, broadcasts his political affairs and opinions on Twitter’s platform. On April 1, he tweeted: “Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws like Catch & Release. Getting more dangerous. Caravans’ coming. Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws Now. No more DACA deal!”
Trump's reasoning for getting rid of DACA is ridiculous. He believes that people under the age of 31 who immigrated to America before turning sixteen protected under DACA since 2012 or, “Dreamers”, are inherently criminal and dangerous. In fact, he attributes America’s crimes and economic problems on immigrants, including the Dreamers. However, the Dreamers are law-abiding residents of this country who positively contribute to the country’s growth. These individuals are young people who grew up in America and have attended our schools, served in our army, and have careers. The only thing that sets them apart from any other citizen in America is their citizenship status.
The government has encouraged immigrants, particularly Mexicans, to travel to America to assist in its economic development. DACA is the least America can do to acknowledge and appreciate this fact. DACA should be kept and here’s why.
Mexico and the United States have had a relationship for a long time. Once the “Mexican Miracle” came to an end in the 1970s, Mexico experienced a huge recession that contributed to a decline in wages, worsened working conditions and plummeting economic conditions. Due to Mexico’s failure to provide subsequent opportunities for families to live in, many Mexicans migrated, illegally, to the United States to find work and to support their families.
What was the cause of the decline of the Mexican Miracle? What or who made Mexico no longer internally sufficient?
America. Of course, it was America.
American and Mexican ties were renewed because of America’s need for oil, manufactured goods, and labor in the early 1940s. This alliance harmed many Mexicans because it took jobs away from them. Mexican farmers were replaced with commercial farmers who expedited the process of farming through hybrid seeds and new technologies. Mexico’s government also prioritized commercial farmers and illegally rented Ejido land to agribusiness or private farmers.
Aside from the stealing of property and eradication of jobs, America tried to assist Mexico by providing jobs.
American companies, including rail lines, beet factories, and manufacturing companies, recruited heavily in Mexico starting in the early 1920s. Companies and employees saw the work done in America as temporary. However, American companies began requesting their workers to stay longer by increasing wages. This is when the occurrence of long-term stay in America truly began. It was highly influenced by America itself.
As Mexicans began to stay in America, the economy in Mexico continued to get worse. For example, today, the pay rate and working conditions in Mexico are drastically different than those in America. America pays more and provides better working conditions than Mexico.
According to Business Insider, “Mexico OECD data show that Mexican workers labored 2,327 hours on average during 2014, far ahead of the 1,796 hours worked by Americans. These workers, however, were only paid $12,850 (based on purchasing power parity) during the year. … Americans earned $57,139 during the same period.”
America’s presence in Mexico for recruitment and dominating production has left Mexico dependent on America. Furthermore, many Mexicans have made a home in America because of the lack of opportunities in Mexico.
The United States government has acknowledged these facts and has, in some ways, tried to protect some of the immigrants who are merely trying to help their families by migrating. DACA was not the only legislation passed to help immigrant workers.
The first appearance of a support for migrants who support the economy was the implementation of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 also known as the IRCA. The IRCA provided amnesty for the previous generation of unsanctioned border-crossers comprised of undocumented immigrants who had continuously resided in the United States since January 1, 1982; penalized the employers of unsanctioned workers and increased funding for the United States Border Patrol.
The IRCA introduced the idea of protecting immigrants who positively contributed to society from deportation. Under this bill, immigrants’ education increased, poverty rates fell and the rate of homeownership increased drastically. Once the immigrants were legalized, many gained jobs of high ranking. The IRCA was a great foundation for the creation of the DACA legislation.
Former President Obama’s reasoning for developing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was to lift the fear of deportation from young people who were brought here as children so that they could continue to contribute to our communities and our country and maybe become citizens of the United States. Immigrants were considered for DACA if they were under 31 years old on June 15, 2012, came to America before turning 16 and had lived in the country since June 15, 2007. Another requirement was that individuals must have a high school diploma, GED, have an honorable discharge from the military, or must still be in school. They could not have a criminal record.
The benefit of DACA is that it awards temporary work permits and protection from deportation to childhood arrivals. Today, DACA serves over 800,000 people, who are often called Dreamers.
The thought of eradicating DACA is frightening for many American citizens and those who classify as Dreamers. Trump continues to talk about the disadvantages of DACA and insists on repealing it. It is time for everyone to fight this battle for DACA. The lives of the Dreamers and American citizens have become intertwined as one. Our nation’s culture, economic growth, and protection have been supported and uplifted by the Dreamers. To turn our backs on people who have grown up here and who have never harmed the country is absurd.
Don’t forget, it was America who initiated the presence of these migrant workers.