On June 15, 2012, then President Obama announced an executive order creating DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). In doing this act of kindness, he was acknowledging that children brought into this country via non-sanctioned methods and raised and educated here would face an unreasonable fate if they would be deported back to their countries of origin.
Having grown up here, many of the Dreamers speak only English and know only the U.S. culture. To me it would be unfair to send them back to a country they know little or nothing about for a wrong not of their creation.
In the past five years, many attempts have been made to formalize President Obama's executive order. However, our highly divided Congress was never able to reach consensus and pass a law that would resolve the Dreamers' situation.
The result has been ongoing tension, uncertainty and fear for the approximately 800,000 Dreamers, including tens of thousands of young South Florida residents. Since the election of President Trump, they and their parents have wondered about their status. Would the new administration renew the executive order? Would Congress pass a law formalizing their status? Will they have to leave? Nothing is more disconcerting than having no clear answers.
Now President Trump, in my opinion, has played a very interesting and intelligent card. He announced a gradual wind-down of the DACA executive order over the following six months with no immediate deportations for those already with permits. Any deportations would theoretically start as those DACA permits expire, after the six-month deadline or within the next two years. He then asked Congress to resolve the uncertainty once and for all.
I believe that Congress should act quickly to end the Dreamers' nightmare and finally resolve this situation. We should not continue to have these children and their parents live in fear, uncertain about their future, being permitted to live in the country but never being able to become part of it. If they should go, it may be better that they do so as soon as possible since the younger they are the better chance they will have to succeed in another country.
If they should stay, then they should be told so without any delay; they should not be burdened with the uncertainty any longer.
Now is it up to our Congress to act with courage and compassion for these Dreamers. I sincerely hope that they should be allowed to stay and make a lasting contribution to the future of our nation. In any case, now is the time for Congress to settle their situation.