Political issues are not usually a topic most students on campus like to discuss, but dialogue needs to happen on this issue: the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the recent actions taken by the Trump administration.
President Trump and his administration want to end the DACA program that was protected under the Obama administration. Established on June 12, 2012 the program went into effect on August 15, 2012. This program protects some 800,000 undocumented youths within the United States.
According to immigrationequality.org, these individuals brought to the United States as children received promised protection as long as they stayed enrolled in school, remained out of trouble and did not pose a threat to national security.
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, also known as the DREAM act was a bill introduced to Congress back in 2009. People refer to the recipients and those effected by this bill as “DREAMERS.”
The response to Trump’s end of the DACA program was astonishing. Celebrities and other influential people took to their social media accounts to express their disapproval for the revoked rights of the United States “DREAMERS.”
People all over the USA took a stand these past weeks to the recent changes, even here in Oklahoma. With 7,500 Oklahomans under the DACA legal status, it is easy to see why. In a statement released to the Oklahoma Gazette, David Castillo, Greater Oklahoma City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, had this to say.
“We need to keep pressure on them.” Castillo said. “We don’t want them to say one thing but do another. We don’t believe it will happen this time.”
The Greater Oklahoma City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is advocating for a fair and just immigration reform law pertaining to the DACA enrollees.
“Imagine taking 7,000 Oklahomans out of the economy,” Castillo posed to the Oklahoma Gazette in an interview. “As a state, we are already having budget problems, and tax collections will be down. It also has a ripple effect. You would see fewer people buying cars and homes, purchasing items at Walmart and all retail shops. Of course, tax collections.”
One student who has a personal history with the DACA regulations chose to give his opinion on the issue. Tonny Loustaunau, a senior accounting major was born in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico but was raised in Perryton, Texas.
“I am no longer affected by DACA because I am getting permanent residency through my marriage,” Loustaunau said. “However, this is going to affect many immigrants, who came here like me. Against our will, we were brought here when we were younger. We were raised here and this is the only place we’ve ever known.”
“I think this is absurd and ridiculous,” he said. “DACA recipients are working legally and paying their taxes, they don’t typically get on welfare.”