Border wall deal distracts from impact on DACA recipients

Jordan Hall, Staff Writer

Jordan Hall, Staff Writer

In September 2017, President Trump announced the termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Thus began the nightmare for the 689,800 DACA recipients currently living in the U.S. As Tulane students, we must recognize the severe impact of the Trump Administration’s actions has on those around us.

DACA, an Obama-era program, was enacted after Congress failed to pass the DREAM Act, which would have made immigrants brought to the country illegally as children eligible for citizenship. DACA is run through the Department of Homeland Security and does not offer citizenship, only deferred deportation. The move to end the program drew critics from both sides of the aisle. In a Facebook post, former President Barack Obama wrote, “we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here at no fault of their own.”

Since his announcement, Trump has claimed he was willing to make a deal, going so far as to say, “DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military.”

Until recently, there was no word from the White House as to what a DACA deal would entail. On Jan. 25, the Administration released its proposal: a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, $25 million for the border wall and dramatic cuts to many other current immigration programs.

Many are inclined to focus on the border wall funding, as the wall has been a constant controversy since Trump first began promising it in his presidential campaign. He maintained it would put an end to illegal immigration from Mexico, along with stopping the flow of drugs over the border.

But concentration on the border wall is what the Administration is hoping for. It knows that $25 billion is a scary statistic that news anchors will be inclined to repeat until they have no sense of its magnitude.

This is how the Administration is appearing to sneak in the scariest part of the plan: the reduction of legal immigration.

For instance, Trump’s proposal ends the diversity lottery program, which currently provides nearly 50,000 green cards a year mainly to those from countries with the lowest immigration rates to the U.S. Many of these are African countries.

The plan also terminates the policies that allow U.S. citizens to petition for citizenship for their family members, now limiting family visas to spouses and minor children.

This would be the largest cut to legal immigration since the 1920s, and it would dramatically affect the American public.

As members of the so-called “Tulane bubble,” it is easy for students to ignore the city thriving around them. But disregard Louisiana, forget New Orleans and focus on campus. Look around. Who is teaching your classes or organizing your programs? Who is sitting in class next to you? Who is living next door to you?

Any one of these people could be an immigrant or even a DACA recipient. It is on you to speak up, even when they cannot.

This is an opinion article and does not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo. Jordan is a freshman at Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached at [email protected].

Leave a Comment