Ending DACA changes lives

Story by Aradaisia Walker, Writer

Recently in the news, the executive branch of the Federal Government announced it is making plans to remove the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA was put in place in 2012 and helps over 800,000 young adults. To be clear, this does not grant citizenship it does provide legal amnesty, which allows illegal immigrant children and young adults the opportunity to receive an education and make a living. Many have yet to understand the intensity of this potential change in legislation.

As president of Mungano, the diversity group for Baker University, I have the opportunity to see how something happening in Washington D.C., changes lives here in Baldwin City. Life always throws curve-balls for us college students. I am personally tired of these curveballs, even if they don’t directly affect me.

Whether we address it or not, this change in DACA shows the present-day institutionalized racism in the United States. We are literally going to strip an individual — one who didn’t choose to come to our country, but made the best of a situation despite the constant reminder that they are unwanted by various groups and now the presidential administration — of their legal amnesty, education and life.

My experience as a young African American female student is of course not the same as an undocumented student, but I understand feeling like you’re truly not wanted or that you’ll never be comfortable. Removing DACA doesn’t benefit anyone, but it does hurt hundreds of thousands of undocumented human people. I use the word “human” because whether or not they were born in the U.S., they are still people with hearts, who still deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.  They still deserve the opportunity to pursue the twisted idea of the American Dream.

At the end of the day, these young adults are valuable to our country, our success and our society, whether we as a country admit it or not. These are the types of people we should embrace because even when the nation they claimed as their own neglects and demeans them, they still fight to be one of us.

Everyone has their own stressors in life, some we create on our own and some are just from the everyday struggles of life. For some students at Baker, that struggle comes from color of their skin. Acknowledge those stressors for what they are, not for pity but for clarity. Understand that DACA provides stability and opportunity to people. We the country called the “melting pot” owe them a real chance to pursue their happiness.