The divided opinions on the DREAM Act: Be in America Legally

Alex McLean

President Trump has caused a lot of controversy in his short 7 months in office. Rightly so, as a lot needed to change from Obama’s term to the new Republican politician.
Currently, as of September, Trump’s newest cause for protest is his repealing of Obama’s executive order: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals which affects some students on our campus.
The DACA allows illegal children to defer deportation by periods at a time if they fulfill certain requirements in age and residency in this country. The requirements for applicants include being younger than 31 by June 12th, 2012 and being in the United States before age 16 and having lived here since 2007.
According to the Pew Research Center, these qualifications seem to affect over 1.7 million illegal immigrants.
These qualifications will also apply to a lot of Augustana students. Many emails have been sent from President Bahls to the Augustana community concerning the college’s involvement in advocating for Congresses decision in voting DACA into our law.
While DACA doesn’t provide citizenship for children, it provides a deferment of 2 years at a time. While this allows the applicant to avoid deportation, they are not obliged to seek citizenship. The applicant can continue to defer their deportation until they are 31.
My issue with this policy isn’t that the illegal immigrants are getting their education while not having to worry about deportation (I’m all for education), my issue is that these children can continue to break the law up to age 31.
They can “skip” the line for periods at a time. My father is an immigrant, he went through the necessary processes and is now a legal immigrant of this country. These students need to follow the law whilst also working towards their citizenship during their periods of deferment.
This issue is certainly one for congress. They have a responsibility to work DACA into our constitutional parameters where neither Republicans or Democrats will touch it.
Also necessary is the reworking our immigration progress, which is another issue entirely, so that these children, who are completing both a college and high school education, can get their citizenship in a timely process.
I’m all for immigrants coming to this amazing country, but I implore them to do it legally. While it takes longer, it will be safer and more profitable in the long run.
Obama’s original executive action was certainly questionable, this issue needs to be addressed in a timely manner.