By Eduardo Landa
On Sept. 5, U.S. Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, will be coming to an end if Congress doesn’t act.
The DACA program was initially issued through executive order by the Obama Administration in June 2012. President Obama had wanted Congress to adopt the law but it led to a stalemate at the time.
The presidential order (DACA) protected individuals who were brought to this country without documents as minors from deportation for two years. The program also made it possible to obtain a work permit and go to college.
Individuals, often called “Dreamers,” who are enrolled in the program have until Oct. 5 to renew their applications for another two years.
President Trump, who kicked Obama’s executive order back to Congress, and House Speaker Paul Ryan have expressed willingness to address the issue of Dreamers being in this country. It is unclear whether Congress will act.
Dreamers, who were brought to this country by their parents or other family members through no fault of their own, should not have to walk outside their homes in fear of being deported back to a country they do not know.
DACA prevented them from living with that fear. It gave individuals the ability to go to school and find a good-paying job without having to wonder if they will still be here tomorrow.
These Dreamers have contributed as much to this country as any American-born citizen. According to the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy, those eligible for DACA pay $2 billion in state and local taxes.
Some 900 dreamers are also currently serving in the military, according to a Pentagon report.
With all their contributions to this country, it is only fair that President Trump and his administration stop playing politics and do the right thing for the 800,000 individuals who deserve to enjoy the freedom that myself and other American citizens have.