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Political pulse: What’s next for ‘dreamers’

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The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy will be rescinded in six months, according to a Sept. 5 announcement from President Donald Trump’s administration.

DACA was created by former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, during former President Barack Obama’s administration, to provide work authorization and temporary relief from immigration action. On Sept. 22, during a panel at the Brookings Institute, Napolitano explained that “DACA is an exercise of prosecutorial selection.”

When Obama announced the DACA policy through executive order in June 2012, he said that DACA recipients “are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper.”

In March of this year, a Suffolk University and USA Today poll showed that 63 percent of registered voters believe Trump should protect Dreamers, individuals who were undocumented minors when they entered the United States, from being deported.

More recently, according to a Politico and Morning Consult poll conducted in early September, 60 percent of voters who “strongly approve” of Trump, want Dreamers to be able to stay in the United States.

State leaders have been at the forefront of protecting immigrants’ rights. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey spoke out against the rescission in a complaint filed on Sept. 6.

“Dreamers are Americans. They go to our schools, serve in our military, work and start businesses in our communities,” said Healey.

Healey is one of several other attorneys general who have led the charge in protecting immigrants’ rights. Just a day after Trump announced that he would rescind DACA, 16 states filed a complaint challenging the rescission. The case, New York v Trump, challenged the legality of Trump’s decision to rescind the policy.

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data from the end of March, there are nearly 19,000 eligible DACA recipients living, working, and learning in Massachusetts.

Politico reported that 7,800 of these DACA recipients live in the Boston area. The Cambridge City Council unanimously passed an ordinance in early October that would “create a fund that would reimburse DACA application costs for Cambridge residents.”

The rescission has prompted Congress to act in protecting these more than 800,000 young people. Since 2001, there have been bipartisan efforts in nearly every Congress toward passing the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.

Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Graham Cassidy (R-SC), have sponsored the DREAM Act (S.1615) again this past summer in response to Trump’s rhetoric threatening to end the program.

There has been little action on the bill since July. Even so, it is likely there will be more bipartisan effort to finally get the DREAM Act passed before March 5, when DACA is expected to end, according to a White House press release.

While DACA is not a legal status, the DREAM Act provides lawful permanent residence on a path to citizenship for Dreamers.

Doris Meissner, the former Commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, believes the employment authorization is the greatest achievement of DACA. California, for example, has the sixth largest economy in the world, and the largest share of DACA recipients. Meissner believes the rescission could have serious effects on their economy.

Carlos Guevara is the senior policy advisor at UnidosUS; an advocacy group focused on social issues facing Latinos. He pointed out that the Trump Administration’s actions are essentially a betrayal to thousands of individuals who were uncertain to come forward to announce their legal status, but trusted in the federal government.

Following Trump’s announcement to rescind DACA, Obama released a statement expressing similar sentiments on how the rescission breaks trust formed between the federal government and the immigrant community.

“Let’s be clear: the action taken today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision, and a moral question. Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us,” said President Obama. “Kicking them out won’t lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone’s taxes, or raise anybody’s wages.”

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One Response to “Political pulse: What’s next for ‘dreamers’”

  1. AmpieM on October 12th, 2017 4:38 pm

    What the taxpayers have paid because of illegal immigration is the real crime.What I find most interesting is the all out BLITZ by the Democrats, MSM, every faculty member at any university in the country fighting to the death for illegal aliens? they put a warm and fuzzy name on it “Dreamers.” and no one seem to wonder why? future voters? can you imagine the Democrats ever being this interested or motivated in issues involving citizens! There is an estimated 800,000 DACA recipients in the US. That is 800,000 jobs American Citizens don’t have or will be in competition for.

    The MSM and Democrats would have us believe that all 800 thousand are not taking jobs Americans want (we’ve heard that lie for many years now.) This is another falsehood told to the American people. Democrats have actually changed the language. It’s not illegal alien its “Immigrant.” (like the lie there just ‘Kids”) there not all picking strawberries they take great Jobs. Good enough jobs to buy homes put their kids through college.Why must the citizens of our country have competition for jobs, education in their own country from foreign nationals? Now Democrats and illegal alien activists admit DACA recipients have great jobs,are buying homes, paying taxes.

    The GOAL, motivation (Democrats just haven’t figured this out yet) is for the American citizens to be employed, sending their kids to college, buying homes and paying taxes. It’s not the responsibility of the citizens of this country to support, educate citizens from other country’s.Deportation will save jobs and decrease the expense of illegal aliens. There is also an incredible public safety issues.

    “Some” of the costs associated with illegal immigration.

    *The cost of educating illegal aliens children is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student.

    *Now city, and state officials are appropriating millions of taxpayer dollars for legal fees to to file law suits and in defense of illegal aliens being deported.

    *2012 illegal aliens sent home $62 BILLION in remittances back to their countries of origin. This is why Mexico is getting involved in our politics.

    *30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens. Does not include local jails and State Prisons. At 21,000 per year expense per inmate in Federal Prison—U do the math.

    *$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens, I repeat 3 MILLION a DAY to process Illegals in the Criminal justice system.

    *$2.2Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps),WIC, & free school lunches.

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Political pulse: What’s next for ‘dreamers’