Darcy Keenan, Columnist
“DACA is like a parent stealing a bike, giving it to their child and then pretending they should keep the bike because they’ve ridden it.” – Twitter user @PolitiBunny, Sep. 4.
Let’s talk about this comparison. When someone steals a bike, or anything for that matter, they are directly impacting and hurting who they stole from. Undocumented immigrants are not stealing anything from anyone. Straying from the idea of DACA, it is important to understand the parental figures of the Dreamers: there is this idea that undocumented immigrants are stealing jobs from the hard working Americans, but that isn’t true. According to CNN, Immigrants are taking laborious jobs that no one else wants, like farming and fishing, which means that American citizens do not face any real job competition with undocumented immigrants. According to a study published last year by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the idea that immigrants “steal” jobs from Americans make little to no sense. Even with the undocumented immigrants working in this country, there are still approximately six million jobs that remain unfilled in the country (CNN).
Another concern is that undocumented immigrants aren’t paying their taxes and doing their fair share to contribute to the economy. However, many undocumented immigrants are able to use the social security numbers of U.S. citizens, which means that they will have taxes and withholdings taken from their paychecks. When it becomes an issue is when the employers agree to pay their employees under the table, which happens often with citizens as well as undocumented immigrants.
Being undocumented does not mean criminal, regardless of what President Donald Trump has said in the past, and it does not mean that your children are criminals either. The children of undocumented immigrants were given a second chance in 2012; these children were granted a renewable, two-year period to further their educations and get jobs without the threat of being deported. Over 800,000 people were helped with this program; they are called Dreamers because of the DREAM act that was voted down in 2001. The name Dreamers also brings up the American Dream: The idea that anyone can thrive and be successful and welcomed in America.
The only reason that anyone would want the Dreamers to be sent back to their home countries is because they are racist and do not understand DACA. DACA beneficiaries do not have the same privileges as citizens, they are not eligible to receive federal public benefits such as (but not limited to) food stamps, welfare, federal financial aid, and though they pay social security they would not reap the benefits of it for decades.
The beneficiaries of DACA came to America when they were minors. This most likely means that they had no choice in coming to America and many of these beneficiaries know little to nothing about their home country. They may not even speak the language of their mother country. It is beyond unfair to deport these people to their home country when so many of them have spent over half their lives in America.
The Dreamers are not hurting anyone. They are not stealing anything from American citizens. They are just trying to better themselves, along with the American economy and society because they consider themselves, as do I, Americans.