The Paw Print

DACA children have a right to stay

Protesters+hold+various+signs+and+banners+at+a+DACA+rally+in+San+Francisco.
Protesters hold various signs and banners at a DACA rally in San Francisco.

Protesters hold various signs and banners at a DACA rally in San Francisco.

Pax Ahimsa Gethen/Funcrunch Photo

Pax Ahimsa Gethen/Funcrunch Photo

Protesters hold various signs and banners at a DACA rally in San Francisco.

Alexa Swinerton, Guest Writer

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DACA kids live in fear while awaiting their status and are now facing possible deportation. These children and young adults have a right to be in this country.

DACA is a program that protects children that were brought to the United States as infants.

Maria Rocha is one teacher out of 9,000 that’s dealing with an uncertain future while awaiting the renewal of her DACA status.

She teaches third grade in Texas, where some of her own students are dealing with the same uncertainty.

Rocha told Claudio Sanchez of NPR, “I just purchased my first car in December,”. “We’ve done things the right way. We were told to go to school, make a career. But now we’re at the  mercy of the stroke of a pen.”

One man has the power to destroy hundreds of thousands of lives, with a single signature.

“It’s a very touchy subject with 8-9-year-olds,” said Rocha. “But they’re aware of this because they have family members who are undocumented themselves, so their families talk about it.”  

Many of these children did not have a say in whether they crossed the border or not.

Sanchez reported, “Rocha was a toddler when she and her grandmother left Coahuila, Mexico, and entered the U.S. illegally. In June 2012, right around the time Rocha turned 25, DACA went into effect. Rocha qualified and immediately her life changed.”  

Brianna Melaragno is a high school student who feels these children should stay. She stated, “Most illegal children did not have a say in whether they came. We should not be forcing them out because of decisions they had no voice in.”

These children were brought here as toddlers. They know this as their only home.

Beth Dalbey of Patch wrote, “DACA: Nearly 700,000 Dreamers Face Deportation Without Deal” and emphasized the reasons these Dreamers should stay. Dalbey addresses, “So far, the moral implications of separating families by deporting Dreamers, who on average have lived in the United States 20 years and really know no other country, have not been enough for Congress or the president to find a way to keep them here.”

These people are contributing members of society. They are Americans just as much as someone born here.

Dalbey wrote, “Their average age is 24. None of them collects welfare benefits such as cash assistance, food stamps or Medicaid. More than half were brought to the United States when they were 6 years old or younger. More than 90 percent of them have jobs. They have contributed billions of dollars in taxes to Social Security and Medicaid though they are not currently entitled to benefits from either program.”

By sending these students back, it will only damage the economy in the end. They have made thousands of dollars, which all help pay for Medicare and social security.

Dalbey notes, “The Center for American Progress estimated that the loss of all DACA workers would reduce U.S. gross domestic product by $460.3 billion over the next decade, with Medicare and Social Security contributions dropping by $24.6 billion.”

The United States needs these people to stay. More importantly, we should want them to.

They’re just trying to make a life for themselves and their future families. They are caught in a war between Trump and Enrique Peña Nieto.

Dalbey wrote, “The White House made clear it wasn’t interested in protecting them without, among other conditions, border wall funding, an end to family immigration, tougher thresholds for political asylum and mandatory use of the E-verify employment certification.”

Trump is using these kids as part of his own agenda, regardless of who gets hurt.

The future of these children is up to us, and we need to help. We need to do everything in our power to keep families together and safe.

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DACA children have a right to stay