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Updated: 2018.9.27 05:17
 
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Dreams Bound by Time
[ Issue 162 Page 10 ] Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 23:02:17 Jae Hwan Jeong Head of Society Division jeong7331@kaist.ac.kr

Any endeavor to rectify historically entrenched shambles cannot be perfect. Curbing criticisms can only come from preventions and not corrections. But given the current state of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, there is no time left to dwell on the root of the problem — for the Democrats at the least. President Trump and his people should work to minimize the discrepancy between an act that is politically sound and how that is conceived by the general public. In that sense, there is stronger advocacy for the pursuit of the DREAMers because, simply put, deportation of third-generation immigrants is infeasible at best. And the administration certainly doesn’t have the knack to push for the program, let alone understand the significance it has for the nation.

The DACA program advocates for the fostering of illegal immigrants who were brought to America as children, not having any knowledge of their respective home countries. Republican states and politicians such as Texas and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, respectively, have repeatedly attempted to rebuke and nullify the legal consolidation of the program by attacking its foundation that took form during Barack Obama’s administration. Sessions called the proceedings as being “an unconstitutional exercise of authority” and described rescinding the bill as something alike of his duty. However, the Democrats have somehow managed to brute force through Trump’s peremptorily asserted, and somewhat childish, attacks. But they have to step up their game and stop acting as though the process is in their favor. The deferment of the March deadline certainly does not help in providing certainty for the DREAMers. The rest of the legislative journey will not end up like the cases in the Ninth and the Second Circuits, in which the judges deemed the administration’s attempt to end the DACA program to be “arbitrary and capricious”. States like Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, South Carolina, and West Virginia have already filed suits in the Fifth Circuit concerning DACA’s constitutionality, and each of these states are aggressively pushing to halt the program, if not already urging Trump to complete what he has promised to do, which is, essentially, to end DACA as well.

The recent rulings have allowed DACA enrollees to renew their statuses indefinitely, but the DREAMers sure can’t take respite until the bill is finalized for good. Many are worried that the program may reach its demise and reach the same conclusion that the Windrush Scandal did in the UK back in 2012 when Theresa May was home secretary. The words of Theresa May back then strongly resonate those of Trump, saying that the conservative solution to the problem is to create a “hostile environment for the illegal immigrants”. The idea, of course, did not fare well in the long run as the Guardian exposed numerous cases of people being denied medical care and being evicted from their homes — even those who weren’t part of the Windrush generation were treated with such indignity just because there didn’t exist proper means to prove that they weren’t to be subjected to such treatments. Even with this past example that warns us of the possible chaos, the Democrats are taking all the time in the world. With the current pace, the outcomes are quite obvious. Underdeveloped documentations that fail to sort through the relevant people with a clear set of criteria, defaulted bills that people believe to have legal bindings but only know of due to their prolonged notion, and so on.

As much as I believe that the court should maintain credibility in its rectitude by being stringent with deadlines, I think it’s also the Democratic Party’s responsibility to help maintain it. The party can’t lie back until the last minute and then point fingers at one another for not making the bill come to fruition. Without a tinge of exaggeration, the DACA program is where America’s future is at. It’s about time they recognized that the immigrants have done more than just mold America’s current culture, but have propelled them to compete successfully on the global stage. This acknowledgment is clearly not reflected in the recent conflict with the DREAMers as the politicians wouldn’t be acting with such indifference or bellicosity if so. Another reason why time matters with this case is because of what the 2016 election has taught us. Prolonged procedures lose conceived importance to the crowd — give it a bit of twist and fire up some urgency, and people will start to believe in a hybrid version that is completely against what the idea stood for originally. Room for bigotry and fear-mongering widens as time passes, and this is what Trump is looking to capitalize on. It’s the same strategy we’ve seen before to amalgamate crowds and raise votes. Let us not risk it this time around, when the “dream” is still in our hands.

Jae Hwan Jeong Head of Society Division Archives  
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