Fri09222017

Last updateWed, 20 Sep 2017 1pm

Politics

Jeff Sessions Announces DACA Reconsideration

Jeff Sessions DACA ReconsiderationAttorney-General Jeff Sessions announced that President Trump will be rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive order established under the Obama Administration, on September 5th. 

In 2012, former President Barack Obama announced that he would be temporarily providing the renewable two-year grace period to individuals who have entered the country illegally as minors, typically through their parents. 

Much contention already surrounded DACA prior to President Trump’s rescission.

In November 2014, former-President Obama attempted to expand DACA and establish the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). Texas, along with 25 other states, sued the United States federal government in response soon thereafter. 

In 2015, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked then-President Obama’s series of executive orders with a 2-1 vote in Texas v. United States— sustaining a lower court’s injunction against the two programs, The Atlantic reported. In response to these rulings, the United States Department of Homeland Security rescinded the DACA expansion on June 16, 2017.

Many still questioned the prospect of DACA if it were to be appealed to the United States Supreme Court, considering the precariousness of the executive order. 

Much of the criticism surrounding DACA—both when it was established and today—was not so much what former-President Obama did, but rather how he did it. Presidential executive orders can sometimes stir controversy.

Some Republicans argue that DACA was an overreach of executive power, considering immigration is an obligation of the legislative branch. 

Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said, “President Obama did not have the legislative authority to do what he did. [Nevertheless] having said all that, there are people who are in limbo. These are kids who know no other country, who were brought here by their parents and don’t know another home… I really do believe there needs to be a legislative solution, that’s the one we are working on, and I think we want to give people peace of mind” reported journal sentinel.

Immigration has always been a torrid subject amongst Americans, and while some are against DACA, many assert that children of illegal immigrants should not be punished for the transgressions of their parents.

Dr. Katherine Parkin, professor at Monmouth University, explains, “one thing that is of particular interest to me as a social and cultural historian is what DACA [means to how we view] children.”  

“For about one hundred years, since the Progressive Era, the United States has agreed that children are a category of people that should be treated differently” Parkin said. “We agreed to reform systems that treated juveniles differently than adults, for example. The notion that children brought here by their parents but who have lived here their whole lives are independent of their parents and could be understood as such is fairly new, I would argue, in terms of immigration.” 

President Trump announced that he would be providing a six-month postponement of implementation in order to allow Congress to legislate a permanent solution to protect the individuals who were otherwise protected under DACA.

Additionally, according to mic.com, many Congressional Republicans agree to establish such a policy—including Arizona Senator John McCain, who advocated for a “pathway to citizenship for [DACA recipients].” 

According to The Hill, Oklahoma Senator James Lankford said, “we as Americans do not hold children legally accountable for the actions of their parents.” They, among others, are voices of hope for a permanent policy passed by a Republican-majority House of Representatives and Senate. Interim, those who have received DACA prior to President Trump’s rescission can still renew their eligibility before October 5. 

Some stress the importance of considering the emotional and ethical issues surrounding illegal immigration and those who are inevitably affected.

 “I do not think DACA should be rescinded…and it seems cruel to the people that it provides aid to,” said Donna Dolphin, Associate Professor of Communication. “It is my understanding that those that DACA helps call the United States their home, and nowhere else.”

DACA provides individuals with deferred action from deportation, as well as eligibility to apply for a work permit.

Approximately 800,000 individuals were given the necessary assistance to attend school and work.

Some students at Monmouth believe the rescission was not appropriate due to the fact that the U.S. citizens that DACA centers on benefit significantly with little to no negative consequences.

Lauren Gnoinski, a freshman undecided student at Monmouth, said, “I feel like it’s unnecessary to be rescinding this now, when there hasn’t really been any evidence of it harming our society in any way.”

Mike Mazzuco, a junior biology student, said, “I think there were pros and cons to it…but I just feel we have many more pressing issues that [President Trump] should focus on instead. Truthfully, I’m not sure [if he should’ve kept it in place]. I just think his timing was bad.”

According to CNN, many college students have already started to feel nervous about the announcement.

Members of various college administrations have also spoken out against Sessions’ statement, promising their students protection should DACA be rescinded.

IMAGE TAKEN from Gureview.org

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