DACA Misconceptions

There is a lot of uninformed discussion about DACA. Unless you work with immigration law folks, you may be a victim of bad information. Here are a couple of quick points about DACA:

1. DACA means Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a two-year (renewable) deferment of deportation for those who were brought to this country by their parents without any personal say in the matter. Those who met the requirements, which included freedom from any criminal activity, received only the privilege of not being deported immediately, and the opportunity to work in the US. Nothing else.

2. DACA recipients, as with all undocumented immigrants, are not entitled to welfare, school subsidies, Pell Grants, housing, “food stamps” or other benefits. Nothing. US born children of immigrants have the rights of all citizens, but DACA do not. They are only allowed to work and pay taxes.

3. DACA participation does not lead to citizenship. There is no line to get in or path to follow. Imagine growing up in the US, attending school, playing sports, being in the band and other activities along with everyone else. Upon graduation, citizens go on to further education, the military, or other careers. Those who are undocumented, without DACA, have nothing, no future. They cannot work and if they manage to pay their way through college as many do, still cannot legally work, despite degrees or other accomplishments.

4. Given the chance to work and to put themselves through school, many DACA recipients are now or are becoming nurses, paramedics, teachers, or US military personnel. All support Social Security and other benefits for U.S. born citizens through the taxes they pay (but cannot themselves receive benefits from them).

5. DACA is not “amnesty” as the participants committed no violation of law of themselves, receive no special benefits. It is also limited to a small percentage of people, and new arrivals cannot apply, so it is not a “draw” for more immigration