Destiny of DACA: With deadline passed, millions are uneasy

Easter festivities over the weekend were tinged with distress as President Trump tweeted “NO MORE DACA DEAL.” This tweet follows a series of unsuccessful negotiations between the two political parties over the future of DACA and the fate of over 3 million undocumented immigrants who came to America with their families at a young age.

While there has been repetitive back and forth concerning the highly controversial DACA program, the current state of affairs does not look promising for the millions of undocumented immigrants who call America home.

The first thing that immediately comes to mind when I ponder over the state of immigration is the quote on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” This quote embodies the very essence of this country’s mission: to provide a sanctuary to those that wish to pursue happiness and equality. When contrasted against today’s anti-immigration rhetoric, I wonder woefully if politics will cloud the mission of this nation that was built on the backs of immigrants.

“There are so many immigrants that live in this country, that have given themselves to this country, yet those are the same people who are being stripped of their freedom and happiness due to this sentiment of them being ‘outsiders,’ ‘aliens,’” said Bismillah Tahir, DePaul student. “I believe America is the nation that gives you as much as you put in. Immigrants deserve to be here.”

International student Sanjna Malik said the situation reminds her of a quote from the novel “The Windfall” by Diksha Basu, where a character wonders: “How come Americans get called expats but if we move to America, we’re called immigrants?”

This reveals a certain hypocrisy where we ignore the fact that the first European settlers were immigrants themselves. We have now resorted to classifying people as either natives or immigrants based on superficial factors such as the color of their skin or the language they speak.

Regarding the current state of affairs regarding immigration, political scientist Neelam Raja said, “America has always been a melting pot of various cultures, the refuge for those who dream of a better life. It is the cornerstone of its culture. Immigrants have just as much to contribute to America as America does to them. Any immigration policy needs to be evaluated to ensure that the essence of this country’s purpose (to serve those that seek to be free) is not diluted.”

While the true future of the DACA program and the millions of undocumented immigrants in the country under our current volatile political climate remains to be seen, the medium through which President Trump announced his decision to abandon negotiation efforts for DACA is crude and unbecoming. Millions of Americans are walking a tightrope, unsure of whether they will be allowed to stay in the only place they could call home. Furthermore, it is flippant for the president to dictate the fate of these Americans both on Easter Sunday and through a platform as informal as Twitter. It goes to show that modern day politics could use a whole lot more professionalism.