By Mason Brennan ’19
I support the Trump Administration’s proposal to remove DACA. My support, however, has nothing to do with the belief that undocumented immigrants are criminals. What guides my opinion is my conviction that we are to follow the laws that our country has set forth. I also believe that President Trump’s description of DACA during the campaign as “illegal amnesty” is a fairly accurate evaluation of what is going on.
DACA needs to be replaced with something that will allow for more strict enforcement of immigration policies, while continuing to protect the hundreds of thousands of people that are currently under it. Matthew Sorens, the director of church mobilization for World Relief, estimates that around 30,000 DACA recipients a month will be fired from their jobs once the 6-month delay is finished. While it would be unjust to uproot people out of their daily lives, it is also wrong to allow people to circumvent our laws without any consequences.
As a Christian I do believe that we should show mercy to the oppressed. However, I also believe that laws should be respected. Romans 13:1-2 is a good place to look at how governmental authority should be handled. It states that “everyone must submit to authority” and that “the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command”. There is an exception to this in the context of being forced to obey a law that goes against God’s command (Acts 5:29). It does not go against God’s commands to set these laws into place. On the other hand, scripturally we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. This is one of the most important commands highlighted by Jesus (Matt. 22:39).
There should be reform of the immigration laws rather than amnesty given to undocumented immigrants. If I would be prosecuted for breaking the law in my own country, why should undocumented immigrants be granted exceptions from our law?
DACA does not seem to do much to help bring these “DREAMers” to citizenship. I believe that the replacement of DACA should incorporate a way for the children of illegal immigrants to work towards citizenship, instead of just staying in limbo with their undocumented status. They are already integrated into our society and are hard workers with no criminal record, so why is there a delay in the process of citizenship?
In addition, I believe that DACA is an overreach of President Barack Obama’s power. As Rep. Steve King, R- Iowa, said, the president does not have the, “authority to create [laws] out of thin air”. This statement makes logical sense to me. Why should the president be able to create laws that will just push his agenda without it being given support by Congress? The founders of the United States specifically created the three branches in our government in order to maintain checks and balances. Therefore, Congress should come up with legislation to protect the current DACA recipients to be signed by the president, as was intended by the founders.
For me, there is a difference between illegal immigration and immigration. While I do recognize
that throughout the course of our history, immigrants have been the driving force in our economy, it is hard to support the people that are staying in the United States illegally and taking advantage of our system. This is unfair to the immigrants who have gone through the whole process of becoming citizens and gaining entry into our country legally. Allowing DACA to continue would not discourage unauthorized immigration or encourage legal immigration. It seems to me that undocumented immigrants are being rewarded for doing the wrong thing.
The U.S currently has borders and a process for gaining entry into the country. The Christian Post states that open borders “with little or no entry laws are not borders at all”. I strongly agree with this statement. I believe that with borders and border laws, there is able to be some level of regulation. If we do not have border laws, then many people will be able to enter the United States under the radar and no one would know. With regulation comes aid and integration into society.
My initial stance on the Trump Administration’s proposal on DACA started as being completely against the “DREAMers”. I believed that they should all be deported. As I’ve done research into what it actually takes to be accepted into DACA and knowing the effects of uprooting these people from our society, I support the “DREAMers”, but I am against DACA. There needs to be a program set in place that would block or prevent more illegal immigration, but the people who are already here and receiving coverage should be put on a path to citizenship.