An uncertain future: Treatment of DACA students is unjust

As soon as I opened the email, I grinned from ear to ear.

“I believe that Trump’s decision is unfair. A county these young people believe in is now toying with their lives for purely political reasons.”

I saw the highlighted word, “Congratulations,” and knew I had been accepted by the University of Minnesota 
for the post-secondary enrollment option (PSEO). It’s a program that allows me to take courses on a college campus and earn college credit while in high school.

There are many students who, like me, are full of aspirations and dreams—but whose lives are now filled with fear and uncertainty. Their ability to work and go to school—their ability even to stay in the United States—depends on a government program called DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

In September, President Donald Trump said he would end the program in six months unless Congress passed new legislation. Then, in October, he said he wouldn’t consider a DACA deal unless it also provided funding for his controversial border wall with Mexico.

“DACA protest Columbus Circle” by Rhododendrites

DACA, under an executive order from former President Barack Obama, shields from deportation young adults who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children—and lets them go to school and work legally.

The ambiguous situation caused by President Trump’s decision affects hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients across the United States, giving them a sense of uncertainty because they have no idea what will happen in six months.

These students can’t plan for their future, can’t even imagine it. Instead, they are living in fear of what might come next.

I am not a DACA recipient, but I am the child of immigrants. I can easily imagine the horror these students are feeling. They were brought into the United States as young children. The thought of having to return to a country they’ve never known has to be really scary for them.

I believe that Trump’s decision is unfair.
A country these young people believe in is now toying with their lives for purely political reasons.

Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress—though certainly not all—have expressed support for DACA.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, said in a Wisconsin radio interview: “These are kids who know no other country, who are brought here by their parents and don’t know another home. And so I really do believe that there needs to be a legislative solution.”

However, Trump is using DACA as leverage to gain funding for his wall and other immigration changes in 2018. I believe this shows he is not serious about resolving the problems of these young immigrants.

Will they be deported or will Congress come up with new legislation? More importantly, will Trump even accept a new and reformed version of DACA? These are all factors that contribute to the fear and uncertainty of DACA students.

I believe his actions are unfair and inhumane. DACA students have a right to know what’s going to happen to them, so they can get on with their lives.