Our Opinion: The Wood Word stands with “Dreamers”


Editorial Board

President Donald Trump’s administration wants to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was put in place by the Obama Administration as a compromise to the long-debated Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that DACA would end in March of 2018. Congress has been working with President Trump to come to an agreement that would continue to help those who would benefit from the program.

Last week, a number of faculty and staff members at Marywood University released a statement in the form of a Letter to the Editor concerning the DACA program, and those called “Dreamers,” beneficiaries of the program. These faculty and staff members shared their support of anyone who would be affected by the end of the program.

The current DACA program is intended to help Americans in need. Undocumented immigrants protected by DACA can obtain licenses and IDs, enroll in education and legally work, which means they pay income taxes as well. The U.S. is a country of immigrants and immigrant children, and to deny such assistance and opportunity to the newest generations of immigrant children would therefore be un-American in nature.

Currently, DACA protects almost 700,000 young adults. Beneficiaries of the program avoid deportation and can apply for renewal after two years. As of September, no new applicants have been accepted, and the current administration plans to end program benefits in 2018.

While President Trump has now officially taken a soft approach to ending DACA, promising to work with Congress to devise a replacement for the program, other members of his administration, like Sessions, are pressuring him to end it.

Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California are working directly with the President to reach a compromise on a replacement to DACA. The replacement would seek to serve both party’s interests, continuing positive social programs for undocumented immigrants and strengthening border security.

Members of the Marywood community are expected to uphold and promote the university’s core values of Catholic Identity, Respect, Empowerment, Service and Excellence. Acting with respect includes honoring each individual for their uniqueness, and empowerment promotes access to education for all. All five of the values compel one to stand up for those in need, such as those who benefit from the DACA program.

The Wood Word Editorial Board stands in support of those affected by the upcoming end of the DACA program. Supporting any legislation that would bring harm to U.S. citizens, immigrants or children would be wholly against Marywood’s core values.

We also support any effort by Congress and the President to continue beneficial programs for those undocumented immigrants who would otherwise be in danger.

As President Trump himself put it, these “Dreamers” are young people with careers, education and military service records, who were brought into the country at a young age. They didn’t choose this life, and they deserve every opportunity the U.S. can offer them.

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