Asking the wrong questions will yield the wrong answers.
If you ask yourself, as President Trump did — “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? [...] They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own — brought in by parents at a young age”- you will surely find the answer is no.
However, if you ask yourself if you should support the proposed resurgence of the flagrantly unconstitutional and unjust “amnesty” that greatly disadvantages American millennials, the answer is less clear.
The resurgence of the debate over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy would put all millennials in direct competition with illegal immigrants who were granted DACA permits, whether it be through college admissions, job opportunities, or wages.
DACA creates competition in the higher education system that inherently favors illegal immigrants through policies such as affirmative action. Affirmative action mandates equal opportunities for, and often results in a larger presence of, minority groups in workplaces and, most notably, universities. Dreamers with permits qualify for affirmative action, giving young immigrants an advantage over not just the skilled worker, but also American college applicants.
DACA recipients have seized on American millennials’ ability to receive financial aid and college scholarships in multiple states. Approximately one out of every four DACA recipients — about 200,000 individuals — live in California. California allows Dreamers to receive in-state college tuition and 19 other states have followed suit. The California Dream Act, embolden by DACA, has set a precedent for states to generously allocate funding to students who have entered or were brought into the country Illegally.
California is merely one example of states diverting funding from the middle class to fund Dreamers. To fund the Cal Grant entitlement for the state’s “neediest” students, California has “phased-out” the Middle-Class Scholarship Program. Implementing the California Dream Act made certain that undocumented and nonresident students are eligible for state financial aid, and that alone accounts for $67 million of the increase in Cal Grant spending.
However, California students and taxpayers are not the only ones who have felt the impact and burden of DACA. California serves as an example of how scholarship and state-funded aid for the average DACA recipient creates a disadvantage for Americans of similar income classes. Middle-Class American students are less likely to receive financial aid from universities and institutions, due to the diverting funds, implemented in State Dream Acts, emboldened by DACA.
Additionally, DACA creates competition in the workforce, for the millions of jobless American millennials. Currently, over 10 percent of millennials remain unemployed. There are 800,000 millennials from other countries who are competing legally in the workplace for the same occupations where American millennials are looking for work. According to the Migration Policy Institute, there are an estimated 2.1 million illegal immigrants who are DACA-eligible in the United States in addition to the 800,000 already enrolled.
However, the ultimate issue facing both millennials and Americans is that DACA allows for unjust amnesty. The United States admits approximately 1 million legal permanent immigrants every year, which is more than any other nation in the world. It is unjust to the millions of Americans and resident legal immigrants who followed the rules.
Giving blanket amnesty to those who neglect to follow our laws is irresponsible and rewards those who fail to follow the rules. Refusing to enforce the law equally, by making special exceptions for favored groups, puts a burden on citizens and lawful residents in the states (especially border states) with the irresponsible federal abdication of immigration law. DACA also blatantly encourages more illegal immigrants to enter the United States in hopes of future amnesty.
Granting legal status to Dreamers streamlines the pipeline of illegal immigration through extended family sponsorship. This is a slippery slope for America. The narrative on DACA touts the promise of the American dream by advertising the many who have benefited from the system. What it fails to mention are the impacts and burdens DACA has thrust upon the American millennials.
Sydney Jacobs (@the_poli_chick), a Las Vegas, Nevada native, currently resides in Washington D.C and works in Republican politics.