DACA repeal will hurt Dreamers, comes at a cost


Brown Beret activist stands tall next to student-made banner Photo credit: Nicole Henson Photo credit: Nicole Henson

Nearly 800,000 people are living a nightmare. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the U.S. government will be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals plan in March 2018.

The Trump administration announced that it will not be considering new applicants but will allow any current DACA recipients to apply for a two-year renewal, according to The Guardian.

DACA was created through an executive order by Barack Obama, allowing children brought to the U.S. illegally to remain in the country, according to NBC.

DACA recipients have the opportunity to obtain drivers licenses, enroll in college, receive work permits and apply for citizenship if they have not committed any serious crimes, according to CNN.

With the plan ending, Dreamers fear deportation.

Dreamers like Chico State student Danny Lopez feel DACA is a great benefit to their lives. Without it, Lopez and many other people would be unable to work or attend school.

“I’m terrified that if it’s (DACA) repealed I will lose my job,” Lopez said. “I’m not going to be able to attend school as easily as I do and if I must renew my passport or have anything to do with the government I’m going to get deported. I wonder what’s going to happen if I get deported. I haven’t been to Mexico since I was three-years-old and I’m 20 now.”

Repealing DACA will also result in major economic impacts.

According to Forbes, it will bring an economic crisis if more productive workers are removed. The estimated loss of tax revenue will be $60 billion. Even if recipients choose to stay and work illegally, the cost of the repeal will still be $100 billion.

The repeal will also affect students’ ability to retain financial aid, enrollment and ability to work after college.

Brenice Maldonado, a Chico State student and former Dreamer, was lucky enough to receive her citizenship but feels the repeal of the program will bring a big default to future students and career seekers.

“I’m a first-generation student, so it helped me a lot and allowed me to pursue higher education,” Maldonado said. “In the State of California, they passed AB-540 that allows me to pay in-state tuition instead of out-of-state tuition. It’s very beneficial to undocumented students. Immigration is part of my upbringing, so it hurts me to see that a lot of younger immigrants are coming from other parts of the world and are undocumented and don’t have the opportunity to apply for DACA.”

Although the best way for Dreamers to speak up is through Congress, many don’t know that there are allies that can help DACA recipients by advocating and bringing awareness to the issue.

The Dream Center in Meriam Library is available to support undocumented students and offers workshops and instructions on what to do in this tough situation.

“Chico State can help by advocating and providing resources for their students and staff that are undocumented,” Maldonado said. “I know we recently got a Dream Center that provides support for students and staff.”

For more information, contact the Dream Center:

Location: Meriam Library 162

Phone: (530) 898-5818

Email: [email protected]

Hours: Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Karen Limones can be reached at opinioneditor@theorion.com or @limoneska on Twitter.