Here is a video I produced for World Relief about DACA, also known as the Dream Act.
Liz Dong is a member of Wheaton Chinese Alliance, part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance – the same denomination I am a part of.
Following the November election, I was eager to find a way to voice my dissent in positive ways. When World Relief called, I jumped at the opportunity to make a resource that speaks both to my political views and my calling as a Christian to “do” justice, love mercy and walk humbly.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is an executive order implemented by President Obama in 2012 to temporarily protect from deportation undocumented immigrants who were brought into the US as children.
To qualify for DACA, candidates must have come to the US before age 16, are in school or have a high school degree or GED or have been honorably discharged from the US military, and are no threat to national security or public safety. DACA applicants go through biometrics background checks and pay a few hundred dollars in processing fee every two years for application and subsequent renewals.
Under DACA, qualified individuals have been able to attain work permits, driver’s license, and pursue higher education, allowing them to come of the shadows, out of constant fear of deportation and separation from family, to lead productive lives and contribute more to their communities. To date, over 740,000 individuals have been approved for deferred action. DACA recipients, also known as DREAMers, are working as teachers, doctors, artists and starting businesses as entrepreneurs and innovators.
President Donald Trump has promised to undo all executive orders, including DACA, immediately upon assuming office. Cancelling DACA or letting it expire without a permanent solution in place will remove temporary legal status and work authorization for DREAMers.
This would not only devastate the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals who did not have a say in coming to America as children, but also harm the US economy by removing these productive workers and consumers. One study has found that ending DACA would wipe away at least $400 billion from the U.S. GDP cumulatively over a decade.