What the hell is DACA and does it matter?

I’m glad you asked.
DACA is like gluten; everyone is talking about it, but does anybody really know what it is?

DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. According to FactCheck, the Obama administration created the act for children that were brought here by their families illegally. I don’t know about your parents, but when my parents took me somewhere, I couldn’t just..not go.
These children and other recipients, mostly younger adults, are commonly referred to as “the dreamers.” Oh, and it’s not free to be a “dreamer.”
The application fee stays around $495 and that’s if you get accepted and processed within the 120 days it typically takes to get through paperwork. The fee can reach up to $575 if you are priority. Did I mention the dreamers have to renew and pay the fee again as well? This isn’t a one time deal.

I decided to take a look at the 7 page application process on the USCIS.gov. To be honest, it gave me a headache looking through the pages. If you’d like to try to navigate it yourself, here’s the link:

Oh and here’s the instructions for the files.

Oh and here’s the link for the changes.

Oh and here’s the actual process to apply.

Oh, and here’s more updates.

If it wasn’t enough to make this process comically difficult, our government is now going to take away the option entirely in March.

Also, this isn’t going towards or applying for citizenship. This is only to defer being deported while you’re applying for a green card; which includes much more paperwork, more expensive fees and longer wait times. I’m not saying it should be easy. I’m saying, the process is plenty difficult and expensive; you’d think that’d be the kind of process our president would prefer.

Imagine this scenario:
Your parents bring you to a country where you don’t know the language or culture. You only know there’s supposed to be better opportunities and it might be safer than where you were. You’re working while in high school just to give the government a big chunk of your money. You want to finish school and maybe go to college while you’re still on the waiting list to pay more money to be processed for citizenship; which can take years. All the while, you’re in a country with a president that says he wants to do away with the one program allowing you access to a better future. People accuse you of being here for free, but do they know about the fees, forms, wait times, guidelines and hard work surrounded by insults and rejection?

This is why DACA matters. I have no idea what it feels like to live this struggle, but after my very basic research I can say it looks really difficult to apply for DACA. I’m tired of hearing people say immigrants are coming here for free or that they’re lazy or not trying to gain citizenship. Nearly 800,000 people rely on DACA. Not for free assistance. Not for a free ride. Not for a free stay. It’s not free at all. It’s not easy to attain. They rely on it, simply for a chance.
The fact is that our government is taking away that chance. Even with making our immigrants jump through all those hoops, it’s still not enough.

My great grandmother came here from Italy, on a boat without much money. If she hadn’t immigrated here, I wouldn’t exist in this life that I live.

Although our president didn’t abruptly end the program, it does expire in March. This means, no more new applicants. Maybe you’re thinking, “that just means more people won’t be coming into the country.”
What about the people that haven’t been processed in time? What about the people finally gaining the courage or gaining access to the money to apply now? What about the kids brought here who didn’t even know about it? What about the young adults who finally have the time and understanding to apply?
There are so many grey areas.
I’m not sure what will be proposed by congress for incoming immigrants. Ending the act doesn’t mean people will stop entering America. It means more people will be here without properly deferring their deportation, which would prevent them the opportunity to gain citizenship.
Ending the program essentially means we will have more illegal immigrants, not less.

I challenge you to wonder- what will happen to all those kids?
DACA isn’t a perfect solution, but ending it entirely doesn’t solve really, anything.

Links I used for information for this article:

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