The Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is one of those current “hot topics” in media and political talks. When originally introduced the intent was to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation if certain criteria was met. These are the points of the criteria;
- You were under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012;
- You first came to the United States before your 16th birthday;
- You have lived continuously in the United States from June 15, 2007 until the present;
- You were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 and at the time you apply;
- You came to the United States without documents before June 15, 2012, or your lawful status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- You are currently studying, or you graduated from high school or earned a certificate of completion of high school or GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or military (technical and trade school completion also qualifies); and
- You have NOT been convicted of a felony, certain significant misdemeanors (including a single DUI), or three or more misdemeanors of any kind.
The purpose of DACA was not only for protection but to allow time for the people covered under the ACT to have time to obtain citizenship. I have heard many debates related to this point. I realize there are many people in this country that do not know they may need to apply for citizenship. There are also many people, like the parents of some of our students, that did know they needed to apply for citizenship and simply didn’t try to complete the process. By stating this, I am not saying I support DACA. I am simply questioning why obtaining citizenship was not a process they completed.
I do not think people that live and work and call the USA home should be deported. Especially if it means separating families! The impact this is having on people’s lives it extreme. We have students in our classrooms that are candidates for deportation. There are people throughout this country that live and work beside us that are candidates for deportation. Have we really looked ahead at the big picture and how this will affect our own way of life if this continues?