DACA: These four letters have been plastered across television screens, newspapers and online articles throughout the world since the Trump administration’s Sept. 5 announcement to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA.)
“As President, my highest duty is to defend the American people and the Constitution of the United States of America,” President Donald Trump said in a statement published by Fox News. “The legislative branch, not the executive branch, writes these laws – this is the bedrock of our Constitutional system, which I took a solemn oath to preserve, protect and defend.”
DACA is an executive order issued by former President Barrack Obama in June 2012 to help children who were brought to the country illegally, commonly referred to as DREAMers. Through this policy, minors could obtain permits to work, get an education,and live in the country.
Nearly 800,000 people have undergone this process since its enactment. However, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated concerns when he announced the president’s plan.
“This unilateral executive amnesty, among other things contributed to a surge of minors at the southern border that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences,” Sessions told national media outlets. “It also denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those illegal aliens to take those jobs.”
Despite the negative consequences that the administration cites in its decision, Trump reassured constituents that the process will be gradual and allow opportunity for new legislation.
“Permits will not begin to expire for another six months, and will remain active for up to 24 months,” Trump said, according to Fox News. “Thus, in effect, I am not going to just cut DACA off, but rather provide a window of opportunity for Congress to finally act.”
Although the president met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the White House on Sept. 13, no decision has been made, according to tweets sent out by Trump.
“No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent,” he tweeted.
While the country awaits presidential and congressional decisions, many are worried about their fate and the fate of others. Mercyhurst President Michael T. Victor addressed some of these fears in an email sent out to the university community on Sept. 6.
“Mercyhurst stands with its founding Sisters of Mercy, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other Catholic organizations in support of compassionate immigration reform,” wrote Victor. “The Sisters of Mercy recognize immigration as one of their five critical concerns and call for ‘an end to deportations that tear families apart.’”
Victor encouraged students to seek out long-term solutions that would allow them to stay in the country, and above all reminded the university that “Hurst is home,” despite what may be going on in the country.
He ended the email by writing, “Mercyhurst University celebrates students of all faiths and backgrounds and remains steadfast in its assurance that ‘You are welcome here.’”