Political perspectives: DACA

This is the first installment of a political column that will present contrasting political views of both liberal and conservative views to shed light on both side’s opinions.

One of the major hot topic issues this year has been immigration. It was one of President Donald Trump’s most prominent issues during his election campaign, and discussions about the potential border wall, and about issues such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM) have been major points of contention throughout the President’s first year. Each side of the political spectrum seems to have a different idea about the best solution to the immigration issue. Here are a few arguments from each side.

Liberal standpoint:

By Sam Weston

Photo editor

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, is in trouble.

The Trump administration’s threat to rescind this act is just another example as to why he has no business being the leader of this nation. But why is this a bad thing? The liberal view on DACA and illegal immigration is much more different than what Trump and many conservatives say about it.

This attempt to end this humanitarian and noble legislation comes as no surprise as it prolongs the negative views that Republicans have towards immigrants, specifically from Mexico. Just look at a similar piece of legislation called the DREAM Act, a simple attempt to give immigrants under the age of 18 a chance to become part of this great country that in no way could have hurt the country, yet Republicans couldn’t get past their witch hunt on Mexico.

Understand that while I do believe people need to come into our country legally, I think that as a country we are way too strict about who we let in. I heavily support DACA, more lax vetting laws as well as sanctuary cities and what they do for people who might be here illegally. The only reason that Trump and the Republicans want to gut this program is to not give more money to the military, as he puts it, but to further his xenophobic policies on hard working American immigrants.

While DACA is only for child immigrants, it goes a long way toward becoming more accepting of people who wish to come to this country. Republicans have spread many falsehoods when it comes to this simple program but the benefits that can be said about this program is that it ultimately benefits the economy and the immigrants who wish to come to this country.

Let’s start with the economic benefits. Children who are given work visas through the program not only get the opportunity to gain better work ethics and livable wages. But in the larger picture, the program brings down unemployment while also bringing the labor force up. With Trump so keen on bringing down unemployment, you think he would be thrilled to have such a large willing group of people to help out. However, all you hear is his rhetoric filled with drug smuggling insults coming from his fingers. These “Dreamers” are only children who wish to become part of our society to benefit not only their lives but the country they wish to be a part of.

The liberal view on illegal immigration can be seen as soft and allowing crime into the country, but why is it a bad thing to want to be more humanitarian? A simple attempt to help the youth of a less developed nation is supposed to be what us as a country should be about, not taking that away to give more money to our already overpowered military. If Trump ever stops to look up how big our military is, he’d find that we spend more on ours than the next seven countries combined.

Keeping people out is no way to become a better society and spreading lies is only worse. As long as Republicans refuse to aid aspiring citizens by supporting racist rhetoric and false views about immigrants, we will continue to be looked at as a selfish, xenophobic nation with no attempt to better our world.

Conservative standpoint:

By Ian Van Orden

News and opinion editor

Many people on the right, or conservative side of the political spectrum, view illegal immigration as one of the most prevalent issues we have in today’s political climate. There are many facets to this issue, but the most widely publicized issue discusses the number of illegal immigrants that enter the country every year.

Though this issue has been widely recognized for many years, President Trump is largely responsible for popularizing the issue, and many Republicans and conservatives have rallied behind him. Among the many facets of the issue, two pieces of legislature have stood out.

The first, DACA allowed any qualifying illegal immigrant that entered the United States as a minor to receive a two-year, renewable stay from deportation, and allowed them to receive a work permit. This policy, enacted during the Obama Administration, was rescinded late last year.

Many conservatives supported this action, as they believed that, though the fault lay on the parents of these immigrants, they should not be rewarded for their parents’ actions. That, after all, is the core of the popular conservative policy on illegal immigration.

The truth is, those with illegal status broke the law when they chose to enter the country without following due legal process. Whatever they’ve done since they arrived in the country, they broke the law coming here in the first place. The DREAM Act, the second piece of legislation that has been prominent over the last few years, would give these same illegal immigrants the opportunity to stay permanently, and legally, in the United States. This issue has the same pitfalls as the last, as it disregards the initial offense committed.

Crime rates among immigrants has also been a popular topic when discussing these bills, but a lot of the information has been misrepresented. Early in January of last year, the New York Times posted an article claiming that immigrants were less likely to commit crimes, and when taken at face value, this claim was true. Unfortunately, it did not fairly analyze the issue, as the statistics they quoted discussed all immigrants, including legal immigrants, rather than discussing the true issue, illegal immigration. There, the issue gets a little more complicated.

During the recent months, as DACA and the DREAM Act have become the most prominent issues discussed, many Republicans have discussed passing these acts if those on the left would be willing to make concessions towards improving border security. After all, the Dreamers aren’t truly at fault. However, in their attempt to “resist” the President’s efforts, even this has been rejected.

It’s clear that the issue of illegal immigration is complex and not likely to be resolved anytime soon. If there is any hope in finding a true solution, it will only come when both sides of the political aisle are willing to work together to find the answer together.