Immigrants’ futures riding on presidential election

By Jasmine Oliva and James Hartley

Perla Soto has the ability to live her life out in the open, not looking over her shoulder and worrying about deportation or being unable to get a job because of her legal status.

It’s because of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that Soto now has the opportunity to have a job and get a driver’s license without worry of deportation. But the 2016 presidential election could change that.

With immigration reform being at the forefront of the race to the White House, DACA has become a battleground between those who want to end the program and those who want to expand it. DACA allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to avoid deportation, work and go to school.

The program has endured criticism from Republicans since it was made an executive order in 2012 after the DREAM Act failed to pass Congress. Critics of the program say that it is a violation of the law and that such a program should have gone through Congress.

Since the program was created by an executive order, the next president could repeal it as easily as it was enacted.

“I am terrified of that happening,” history professor Kat Reguero said. “Especially for me because I recommended so many of my students to apply for DACA because I wanted them to have that umbrella. What that gives the government now is their information to go and get them if need be, and that’s scary to me.”

Reguero said the program has allowed childhood arrivals to have a life.

“They have jobs, they drive, they go out, they experience life whereas before they were terrified,” She said. “They would stay home, some were even afraid of school. They would not want to participate in certain things that we did because they were out in the public.”

Soto said it wouldn’t be right for the program to be removed by the new president.

“You can’t just give something and then take it away,” Soto said. “[DACA offers] a better opportunity in getting a career rather than being limited.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said the nation should focus on the dreams of American-born children. He used the term “Dreamers,” usually used to refer to undocumented childhood arrivals who would be eligible for the DREAM Act, to talk about Americans fulfilling their dreams.

“I want the people in the United States that have children, I want them to have dreams also,” Trump said. “We’re always talking about ‘Dreamers’ for other people. I want the children that are growing up in the United States to be dreamers also. They’re not dreaming right now.”

Sen. Ted Cruz has repeatedly said on the campaign trail that he will, “rescind every single illegal and unconstitutional executive action Barack Obama has done” which would include DACA, if he is elected president.

“We need to stop Obama’s amnesty and enforce the rule of law,” Cruz said.

The chance that DACA could be rescinded by the next president is scaring a lot of students, many of whom have only called the United States home, Reguero said.

“Almost daily they ask me, ‘Professor Kat, what’s going to happen to me if it passes?’” Reguero said. “I don’t really have an answer. I just try to assure them that it’s not just one person’s decision if they stay. I tell them, pretty much all you can do is what we do, which is get voters out and try to get them to vote for someone … that is not going to retract DACA.”

Reguero said the program has made it easier for students to enjoy their lives.

Before the program was created, Reguero said, undocumented childhood arrivals always had to worry about being deported.

“[It provides] a sense of security, a sense of purpose,” Reguero said. “Because hopefully they’re going to stay and they know that they can make a life here whereas in Mexico or Colombia or wherever they happen to come from they may not have that opportunity. I think that their personalities come out because they can get out.”

President Obama said in 2012 that the law protects individuals who are here by no fault of their own.

“It makes no sense to expel talented young people who, for all intents and purposes, are Americans,” Obama said.

Democratic presidential candidates have promised they would keep DACA in place if elected. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has promised to take DACA a step further.

“I will go further if it’s at all legally possible,” Clinton said. “I will make this a big political issue because we need to keep those young people working, going to school, being productive members of our society.”

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has favored immigration reform to make citizenship easier to obtain.

“I will work to take extensive executive action to accomplish what Congress has failed to do and to build upon President Obama’s executive orders,” Sanders said.

Pew Research Center has found that 553,197 undocumented childhood arrivals were DACA recipients in 2014. The removal of the program would allow these immigrants to be deported and make it difficult for them to get jobs and receive an education.

Soto said that if Americans vote in favor of a president who repeals DACA, the reaction would be “chaotic.”

“Sometimes I wish someone [against DACA] would become president so they can see how much the U.S. needs Hispanics and how much value we have,” Soto said.

Reguero said DACA participants haven’t done anything wrong. While she says they are here illegally, it is by no fault of their own and they should not be punished for it.

“It changes their life,” Reguero said. “Just going to sleep at night knowing that they’re going to have a chance for their education, a chance to hopefully stay here, the only country they know.”

The faces of DACA: Lesly Rodriguez

The faces of DACA: Aaron Sustaita

The faces of DACA: Jose Lopez

3 Comments

  1. “The 2008 National Annenberg Election Survey found that 62 percent of immigrants prefer a single government-run health care system. The 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study found that 69 percent of immigrants support Obamacare, and the Pew Research Center found that 75 percent of Hispanic and 55 percent of Asian immigrants support bigger government.”
    It is also worth noting a Harris poll Mrs. Schlafly cites that “found that 81 percent of native-born Americans believe the schools should teach students to be proud of being American, compared to only 50 percent of immigrants who had become naturalized U.S. citizens. Only 37 percent of naturalized citizens (compared to 67 percent of native-born citizens) think our Constitution has a higher legal authority than international law.
    The Pew Research Center reported in 2011 that, of all groups surveyed, Hispanics have the most negative view of capitalism in America — 55 percent. This is even higher than the supporters of Occupy Wall Street.”
    Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute has also studied the views of new immigrants and concluded that, “It is not immigration policy that creates the strong bond between Hispanics and the Democratic Party, but the core Democratic principles of a more generous safety net, strong government intervention in the economy, and progressive taxation.”
    The current level of immigration, even without amnesty, will add nearly 15 million new potential voters by 2036, a large share of whom will favor the left. By allowing this to happen it will make Republicans and conservatives a permanent political minority for this nation.
    Since 1970 the foreign-born population of the United States has increased 324.5 percent and American incomes have declined.
    This is not just some conservative fantasy: in 2015 the respected non-partisan Congressional Research Service has just released a study showing “Wages Declined As Immigration Surged” and what the study shows is wages and share of income for the bottom 90 percent of American wage-earners declined over the past 40 years, as the foreign-born population increased dramatically.
    But just as bad, if not worse, than the economic effects of the vast tide of illegal and legal immigration is our failure to assimilate them. And these unassimilated immigrants, most from Third World countries, are the “shock troops” of Barack Obama’s far-left progressive plan to fundamentally transform America.
    The vast tide of legal and illegal immigrants flowing into America amounts to a population replacement program in which believers in American exceptionalism and the values protected by the Constitution are being replaced with potential clients of the progressive welfare state – and I might add voters who are almost certain to vote Democratic.
    We urge you to call your Congressman and Senators to demand a freeze on most legal immigration. The Capitol switchboard is 1-866-220-0044, please call today.
    For all his rough edges, his bravado, multi-Millions of Americans trust Donald Trump and why, because he has a different approach to the issues that are killing our economy; the people have been continually short changed by the Washington elite club and Democrats. Hillary Clinton has a bloody trail of wrecking people’s lives, since she first came on the scene that the multitude of people has no knowledge of? The larger majority of promises that they swear, never are produced and just disappear like an English mist. Forget it from me and at least 35 people that I know, will just fade back into the woodwork, if the Convention is turned into some nasty trick to make Trump vanish. The consequences are such that it will be written about in the future history books.
    Was California ready to steal the elections, by Gov. Brown giving drivers licenses to illegal aliens and adding the VOTER MOTOR BILL. How are the elections officials going to know the difference between an unauthorized voter and citizens? Was this a set-up from the beginning? I remember when the Organization called “ACORN” registered non-citizens to register–while Democrats looked the other way?

  2. Employment-based preferences accounted for only 14 percent of the legal immigrants admitted each of those years and we think the strong case can be made that it is not the specific categories, but the sheer volume of immigrants that has been a major contributor to the economic and quality of life disaster that has befallen America’s middle income citizens over the past 40 years.
    Every one of those newly admitted immigrants represents a new demand on America’s schools, roads, hospitals and other public services by someone who has contributed zero to funding them.
    At the same time that this massive influx of immigrants creates downward pressure on wages it also creates upward pressure on the housing market and taxpayer funded services.
    It may be a win – win for big business that benefits from lower wages and an increased demand for its products, but it is lose – lose for America’s citizen workers and their families.
    And as our friends Daniel Horowitz and Phyllis Schlafly have documented, it has vast political consequences as well.
    Almost 20 percent of those receiving green cards in 2014 reside in California. Roughly 60 percent reside in one of the following five states: California, New York, Florida, Texas, and New Jersey. At this pace, it will be hard for Republicans to remain competitive in Florida. And Texas will continue its slow march to becoming a purple state, noted Horowitz in a recent article for Conservative Review.
    And as Mrs. Schlafly pointed out in an incisive article for Townhall, “The current level of legal immigration to America adds thousands of people every day whose views and experience are contrary to the conservative value of limited government…”
    Mrs. Schlafly documented that “An enormous body of survey research shows that large majorities of recent immigrants, who are mostly Hispanic and Asian, hold liberal views on most policy issues and therefore vote Democratic two-to-one. Their motivation is not our immigration policy; it is economic issues.

  3. LET US THE VOTING CITIZENRY COLLAPSE THE GOP ELITES AND DEMOCRATIC HIERARCHY AND MAKE THE AMERICAN VOTE COUNT AND PUT AN END TO THE DELEGATE MIND GAMES. DEMAND A RETURN TO THE POPULAR VOTE SO EVERY CITIZEN CAN HAVE HIS SAY?

    AMERICA IS RUN BY THE INFLUENTIAL, SO CALLED INTELLIGENCER, WHICH BUYS OUR LAWMAKERS VOTES, WHEREAS THEY CANNOT BUY DONALD TRUMP? THEY ARE FUMING BECAUSE THEY CANNOT HIS LOYALTY. HE WILL STOP THE ILLEGAL ALIENS, THE DRUG INVASION BY BUILDING THE WALL AND TRACKING TECHNOLOGY WITHIN OUR COUNTRY.

    DON’T LISTEN TO THE MAJORITY OF THE NATIONAL PRESS AS THE WILL MISLEAD YOU, AS THEY ARE OWNED BY THE WEALTHY MEDIA OWNERS AND DO NOT WANT A CHANGES TO OUR DEMOCRACY, AS IT WILL TAKE AWAY THEIR POWER AND INFLUENCE. BOTH TED CRUZ AND JOHN KASICH ARE BOTH BROUGHT AND PAID FOR BY SPECIAL INTEREST A LARGE CONTRIBUTIONS FROM GEORGE SOROS A EXTREME SOCIAL_ COMMUNIST?

    WHEN DONALD TRUMP BECOMES PRESIDENT, ALL EXECUTIVE ORDERS OBAMA USED TO BYPASS CONGRESS, WILL BE REPEALED AND THAT INCLUDES ENFORCING IMMIGRATION. OTHER THAN TRUMP NOTHING WILL BE DONE AND THE BORDERS WILL REMAIN OPEN AND THE BURDEN OF PAYING FOR IT ALL, WILL REMAIN THE US TAXPAYER?

    George Resley, CHQ Editor on 4/15/2016 of the Conservative HQ.
    According to a recently released Department of Homeland Security report, during the past three years for which statistics are available (2012 to 2014) the United States has allowed entry to an average of over 1 million legal immigrants per year.
    During the same time the real wages of American production and non-supervisory workers have been stagnant, hovering well below $700 per week – far below their $827 peak back in the early 1970s.
    It would be easy to blame this situation on the entry of foreign guest workers under such programs as the H-1B visa program that led to the firings at Disney’s Florida operation that Marco Rubio defended and then figured so prominently in Rubio’s defeat in the presidential primary in his home state.
    But the majority of legal immigrants are not admitted through so-called employment-based preferences, they are admitted through chain-migration or the so-called family reunification policies that led to the admission of 1,976,122 immigrants to America during those three years.

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