Hey there! Happy Wednesday. Let’s talk DACA.
What is DACA?
DACA is an acronym for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program that was created by President Barack Obama in 2012 as an executive order. Throughout his presidency he continually asked congress to make a move on immigration and nothing happened therefore he made an executive decision. DACA protects Dreamers or those who came to the USA illegally as children from deportation. Recipients are to meet rigorous requirements & pay a $465 (includes application fee & biometrics). If approved, the recipient is protected from immediate deportation and granted a work permit, the ability to study, and a drivers license. This lasts for two years and you are able to apply for renewal.
A special note: I am not technically a dreamer. I did NOT come to the USA illegally. My family and I were granted a visa and flew in from our native country, Costa Rica in September of 1997.
A few numbers provided by NPR:
“Most arrived from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. There are also several thousand from Asia, primarily South Korea and the Philippines. They reside in every state, with the largest concentrations in California (222,795), Texas (124,300), New York (41,970), Illinois (42,376) and Florida (32,795).”
What are the requirements?
Individuals are able to request DACA status if they were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012, came to the U.S. before turning 16 and have continuously lived in the country since June 15, 2007.
They must also have a high school diploma, GED certification, been honorably discharged from the military or still be in school. DACA recipients cannot have a criminal record.
How many are a part of DACA?
Nearly 800,000 individuals who now pay taxes, abide by laws, give to our communities and economy.
We believe that we are Americans in every way except on paper. Having lived our whole lives here we know no other land but this land.
Whats the beef?
President Trump said during his campaign that this was an illegal amnesty, even though DACA provides no lawful status to those of us in the program. However, he had shifted his position in the last few months and said he would take care of us and make a decision with his heart. The beef is that many leaders feel it is an overreach of presidential authority and an attempt to create a law out of thin air when only congress has the authority to create new laws.
On June 10, 2017, republican attorneys threatened to create a legal challenge via a letter to General Jeff Sessions if DACA was not removed calling it “unconstitutional.” The deadline to response to this statement was September 5, 2017.
Congress has now 6 months to create a permanent solution for DACA recipients and Dreamers. As of September 5, 2017 no one can apply for DACA. If you need to reapply you are able to do so until October 6, 2017 if your DACA benefits expire between September 5th, 2017 & March 5, 2018.
If congress doesn’t find a permanent solution by March 5, 2018 DACA will be permanently over.
Recipients are not forced to leave right away.
Friends, this still leaves a lot us with a lot of unanswered questions. For example, my work permit that I received through DACA expires in 2019. If in 6 months congress has come to no solution will my work permit end right away or will I still have until 2019?
Yes, we must secure our borders. Yes, we should go after criminals. But, WE MUST FIX THE BROKEN SYSTEM! The immigration system is broken. There is no question about it. I’ve said it before and it still stands true: we don’t want to be undocumented or illegal. We want to do the right thing. The problem is there is no way for us to do the right thing. Please hear me on this, the system is broken. I feel like I’m running in a little wheel (like a hamster) hoping that one day I’ll get to the end of the wheel but I never will.
Immigrants or illegal aliens cannot just walk into an office and ask for a green card. I for example have lived here 20 years. I have several petitions to become a resident, I’ve called senators, I’ve had different lawyers take a look at my case and it all comes down to this: the system is so broken that they are no where near looking at one of my petitions. Last time I checked they were about 8 years behind.
So, what can you do?
Get to know your neighbors. Have conversations & invite the least of these into your homes and create community. Everything changes when you get to know those around you. You’ll be surprised to find out how many surrounding you are a part of the DACA program.
Something I have been studying this last year is the genealogy of Christ. In Matthew 1:1-17 we are able to read our Saviors genealogy and what I read took my breath away. It says:
“So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.” – verse 17
Christ came from a family of immigrants who had been deported at some time. I’m still learning so give me grace if I’m wrong but, there’s something to that. Immigration is vital to the Kingdom of God.
And if you are suffering because of yesterdays announcement and are a victim of the broken immigration system, would you send me a message? I’d love to connect and be someone you can link arms with. I’ll post updates here on DACA and other immigration issues as best as I can.
all my love,
ps. click this link to check out my interview with WSOC-TV. You can scroll to the bottom and read part of our interview and catch me starting at minute 2:30.