Last updated on: 12/18/2019 12:26:56 PM PST
Should the US End the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Policy?
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is an Obama administration policy implemented on June 15, 2012. DACA prevents undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children from being deported and allows those immigrants to get work permits. The undocumented immigrants who participate in the program are referred to as Dreamers, a reference to the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act) that was first introduced in the Senate on Aug. 1, 2001 by Orrin Hatch (R-UT) but did not pass.
On Sep. 5, 2017 President Trump rescinded DACA, an action that was met with two federal court rulings saying the policy could not be ended on Mar. 5, 2018 as planned. The Trump administration appealed those federal court rulings to the US Supreme Court, but on Feb. 26, 2018, the US Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal. DACA therefore remained in effect. The issue eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, which heard arguments in three DACA cases on Nov. 12, 2019. A ruling is expected by summer 2020.
For more information on the pros and cons of DACA, please read our headline article
"Imagine a young girl, age 4 or 5, traveling with her parents into the United States as they make the hard decision to pursue a better life here. Imagine that child growing up as your student, your co-worker, your friend. Because of the president’s decision today [to rescind DACA], she now must live in fear that she will soon be thrown out and sent back to a country she has never known.
This story speaks to the experience of roughly 800,000 people known as DREAMers here in America today. These children didn’t choose to come here, but now many of them are grown with families of their own. They’re paying taxes. They’ve joined the workforce. They went to college. Some of them joined the military. Now, they’ll be sent to countries they don’t even remember.
These people are all Americans. So let’s be clear: throwing them out is cruel. It is inhumane. And it is not America. Congress and the American people now have an obligation to step up and show our neighbors that they’re welcome here, in the only place they’ve ever called home."
Source: Jeff Stein, "Joe Biden: Rescinding DACA Is 'Cruel' and 'Inhumane,'" vox.com, Sep. 5, 2017
"The federal government should end its defense in court of Trump’s executive order attempting to end the DACA program. The federal government should start properly administering the program."
Source: Howie Hawkins, "Green Party of Colorado Questionnaire," howiehawkins.us (accessed June 24, 2020)
"I oppose the deportation of peaceful U.S. residents, but DACA should have been passed by legislators rather than decreed by Obama by executive order. The existing DACA program should be maintained and easier paths to legal, long-term residence, including citizenship, should be established for all."
Source: Communication from the Jorgensen campaign to ProCon.org on Aug. 26, 2020
Now Not Clearly Pro or Con
"The deal was done. DACA is going to be just fine. We’re putting it in. It's going to be just fine. And I am going to be, over the next few weeks, signing an immigration bill that a lot of people don't know about. You have breaking news, but I'm signing a big immigration bill...I'm going to do a big executive order. I have the power to do it as president and I'm going to make DACA a part of it. But, we put it in, and we'll probably going to then be taking it out. We're working out the legal complexities right now, but I'm going to be signing a very major immigration bill as an executive order, which Supreme Court now, because of the DACA decision, has given me the power to do that...[W]hat I'm going to do is that they're going to part of a much bigger bill on immigration. It's going to be a very big bill, a very good bill, and merit-based bill and it will include DACA, and I think people are going to be very happy... But one of the aspects of the bill is going to be DACA. We're going to have a road to citizenship."
[Editor's Note: Trump previously expressed a CON opinion on this question. Read Trump's former positions on whether DACA should end.]
Source: Rafael Bernal, "Trump Says He'll Sign Order with 'Road to Citizenship' for DACA Recipients," thehill.com, July 10, 2020