Elizabeth Helmkamp, Ellen Inggrid Dengah and Danny Mooers-Staff Writers
The recent decision by the Trump Administration to rescind DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) has forced immigrants to make rash decisions involving their future. The program provides work permits to nearly 800,000 people across the United States. Emily Horvat, a senior Social Work major at Dordt College said, “I really don’t think this (the decision) is fair, [immigrants] don’t have a home, they need a home. This is home. And it’s not fair to deport them.”
According to the University of California at Berkeley’s Undocumented Student Program website, DACA is “A kind of administrative relief from deportation.” Its purpose is to protect immigrant youth who came to the United States as children from being deported. It also gives those youth a work permit that must be renewed every two years.
Harold Heie, Co-Director of CASA (Center for Assistance, Service and Advocacy) in Sioux Center said, “I don’t think there’s any kind of moral argument that can be made for deporting dreamers. There’s absolutely no moral argument whatsoever.”
Congress is currently analyzing the situation and are debating about making DACA into a permanent program. In the meantime, numerous DACA recipients have decided to sue the Trump Administration in an effort to stop the rescindment.
CASA has started the process of creating ‘sanctuary churches’ in fear of mass deportation. These churches will give shelter to illegal immigrants as they work through the legal process if mass deportations occur. “What we’re thinking about, especially with the sanctuary churches thing, is we’re hoping and praying for the best, but we’re preparing for the worst,” said Heie.
Donald Roth, professor of Criminal Justice and Business Ethics said, “I don’t see [mass deportations] happening on the one hand and, on the other hand, I would also be very surprised if we had the silver bullet show up that actually solved all our immigration issues.”
Roth also spoke on the opinion of the general public.
“I would think it to be a small, small minority but there are certainly people who are looking to just mass deport everybody they can,” said Roth. “For practical reasons and for political reasons I don’t think that’s likely for the future, even if they don’t come to a legislative solution.”
Roth argues that redacting DACA was a dangerous overstepping of the former president’s bounds.
“If the president [Obama] is basically saying ‘you didn’t give me a law so I decided to do what your law should have done’ it’s kind of making congress redundant and meaningless in some ways,” said Roth.
Roth believes the removal of DACA is the best chance for any immigration reform, “If you have a deep cut, something that’s going to need stitches or need more serious surgery, you got to take the band aid off to fix anything,” he said. “I don’t think that program [DACA] was anything more than a band aid, at best. And even that I don’t know that it was the best band aid.”
Due to the recent decisions by the Trump Administration, all renewal applications for those expiring in March 2018 must be submitted by Oct. 5, 2017. Many organizations and even states are offering to waive the application fees and work to speed up the renewal process.