"My future will find me still fighting for the rights of immigrants to pursue higher education, to be allowed to work and drive without the fear of being deported, for the right for families to stay together in their new home, and for a functioning road to citizenship. This country has been home for nearly 17 years and I will remain here; my family and I are here to stay." This is how Maria Juliana Rodriguez Acosta – senior at Florida State University – ends her piece in The New York Times' powerful feature on America's immigrant youth, which simultaneously calls for the Trump administration to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
DACA emerged from the arduous undertaking of trying to bring the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors act (DREAM) to fruition. After multiple failed attempts to bring the legislative proposal to pass, President Barack Obama announced that his administration would stop deporting young illegal immigrants who match certain criteria previously proposed under DREAM, introducing the DACA program in 2012, which grants undocumented immigrants who enter the country as minors a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit. Trump is indecisive about the program, as he is currently being pushed to rescind it.
The Times editorial board reached out to more than 100 DACA recipients that were spared deportation and afforded the opportunity to (legally) attend school and work during Obama's tenure, as a reminder of why the DACA program is so crucial to our growing immigrant youth, who at the end of the day make up the fabric of this "American dream." Read The New York Times piece, here.