By Brennan Sullivan, Staff Reporter
On Tuesday Sept. 5, President Trump’s administration made the controversial decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, commonly known as DACA.
DACA was created under the Obama administration in 2012 to protect minors from deportation who were brought to America illegally by their parents. The near 800,000 immigrants guarded by the program, who have been given the name “Dreamers,” are granted eligibility for a work permit and can become ineligible for committing crimes. To be accepted into the program, applicants had to be 16 or younger when they arrived and could not have had serious crimes on their record prior to applying.
This decision made by the president has caused backlash from Americans abroad, as the fate of the “Dreamers” is uncertain. Being the top executive of a university dedicated to social justice, President Ali Malekzadeh released a statement strongly disavowing the decision and ensuring Roosevelt students affected by it that they are being supported to the full capability of the institution.
Roosevelt has vowed not to disclose any documents of its students concerning immigration status unless lawfully subpoenaed or warranted. An attorney from Lavelle Law was brought in on Sept. 8 to counsel students in preparation for legal barriers they may face in the upcoming years.
The president’s statement points out that the young immigrants were “brought to our country by parents seeking freedom and opportunity from war or political oppression, or seeking freedom and opportunity for their children.”
Ali reminds students that “these are the same reasons generations of immigrants have come to the United States for over 200 years.”
Emily Minner, a senior political science major here at Roosevelt, expressed how she feels about the removal of the program.
“I think it is a true disgrace that the President of the United States believes that this is how our government should treat people, whose dream it is to survive and work in this country,” Minner said.
A large question that has been asked is how will a decision by Congress to deport the young immigrants affect the U.S. economically?
“Our economy tremendously benefits from these 800,000 young, hard-working people. Our workforce is aging and it is vital for us to have more young workers,” Roosevelt University Economics Professor Jennifer Clark said.
“The United States has invested in them already by educating them; why would we want to lose this group of very productive, educated and hard-working individuals,” Clark said.
The newspaper The Economist supports her claim as it recently reported: “More than 90% of those now aged over 25 are employed; they create businesses at twice the rate of the public as a whole; many have spouses and children who are citizens.”
While the repercussions of removing DACA and the future of the “Dreamers” is unclear, the voices of Americans who oppose the repeal are not.