DACA stands for “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.” It is a form of administrative relief from the threat of deportation for being an illegal immigrant in the United States. The purpose of the program is to protect the children who were brought into the U.S. by their parents without permission.
DACA gives undocumented workers two specific benefits. It provides them with a 2-year work permit, and it offers protection against deportation.
Specific requirements must be met by individuals to get into this program. You must be under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012. You had to come to the United States before your 16th birthday. There are also residency requirements, educational achievements, and personal conduct stipulations to meet.
What Are the Arguments for DACA?
1. It can increase wages in a community.
When there are more immigrants active in the U.S. economy, then more jobs get created overall. That means the wages of everyone will go up because there is more competition for the best jobs available. This process could add up to $14 billion more to the national economy, along with $4 billion in new tax revenues.
2. It adds diversity to the economy.
When people come from different backgrounds and cultures, their diversity adds strength to communities. It is a trait that allows companies to be more competitive and innovative.
3. It allows people to serve in the military.
About 5% of the U.S. military consists of non-citizens or immigrants who naturalized. These people are less likely to fail during their initial training, often staying in their preferred division or brand for their entire career. The DACA program covers over 1,000 people who are currently in an active-duty status.
What Are the Arguments Against DACA?
1. It protects people who broke the law.
Even though the people who qualify for DACA contribute to society, they broke immigration laws to be in the United States in the first place. Protecting people who willingly break the law sets a poor standard for the rest of society.
2. It could take away jobs or educational opportunities.
When more people are in a country illegally, it decreases the number of employment opportunities that are available for everyone. Because educational components are part of DACA’s application process, that can mean fewer spots in college programs.
3. It encourages more people to cross the border.
If there are hundreds of thousands of people who receive government protection through DACA despite their undocumented status, then more families will be encouraged to cross the border. This program is seen as a way for parents to sacrifice themselves as a way to make a better life for their children.
The arguments for and against DACA create passionate debates on both sides of the subject. For many Americans, their perspectives of this program are a reflection of what they want their country to be one day. Maybe there is a place for compromise, but that means both parties must come to the table for an honest discussion.