Belmont High School

A message to the 45th president from a DACA recipient

More than a million of undocumented immigrants have silently resided on American soil since they were children. What proved to be a small step towards victory in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) grants eligible individuals work authorization and a two-year period safe from deportation.

Mailing $465 every two years to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) seemed like a generous bargain considering the lack of political action for the undocumented immigrant community.
It is ironic, the same websites that dehumanized us by slandering our existence with the term “illegal,” call the executive order “humanitarianism.” What a politician, such as yourself, must learn is that every one of us was human before being allowed to buy a seven-digit work authorization number.

Thwarting misconceptions surrounding us, billions of dollars in taxes come from undocumented immigrants. Mr. Trump, as a businessman, can you imagine the economic growth a policy like DACA influences?

My family stimulates the economy by paying taxes and paying for all DACA fees, despite the vast amount of hours on minimum wage it takes. This is the story of millions of recipients.

Similar to other children, my coming of age felt like a culmination. The excitement of turning 15 years old was not courtesy of an upcoming Quinceañera. It was because I could finally apply to DACA. With this policy, my undocumented-self could have work authorization to pursue the career of my dreams and be relieved from the chances of deportation as long as I do not commit illegal acts. In the process of sending my information to USCIS, the extensive sessions with an immigration lawyer permitted me to witness first-hand how safe the president can make the United States for us.

After the numerous decades “undocumented immigrant” has had a negative connotation, DACA finally permitted a person of my status to exist in the United States.

A president could initiate the policy, but since it is executive, another can terminate it. Our president-elect made remarks on President Barack Obama implementing DACA, “(It is) one of the most unconstitutional actions ever undertaken by a president.”

Mr. Trump, acknowledging that an African slave was human and freeing them from their master’s torture was unconstitutional.

Mr. Trump, granting women the right to their own body and the right to have a voice in political assignments was unconstitutional.

Mr. Trump, forgiving children who were brought to the United States by their courageous parents because they seeped a better life, effortlessly providing an antidote to the people who are diseased with the sleepless fear of deportation, and decriminalizing an undocumented person’s right to work, is unconstitutional.
Throughout all of the history of the United States, the Constitution has justified oppression; moreover, the Constitution has silenced those who are too scared to confidently enunciate their disagreement with what is constitutional.

Mr. Trump, we are unconstitutionally human. We have educational dreams, dream vacations, dream universities, dream careers, and aspirations. We are the dreamers who benefit from DACA.

On Jan. 20, when you officially take office, take into account that you can choose to eliminate the barriers that hinder us from attaining our dreams. Your work can be the reason why undocumented children can’t wait to celebrate their 15th birthday. You can choose to end the negativity surrounding immigration. You can choose to maintain the advances the undocumented immigrant community has secured by giving us the freedom to exist, despite the rhetoric that you preached on your campaign trail.

It all rests on your shoulders; you have 33 hours to settle on keeping DACA.