DACA and the Black Community – California News

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Halifu Osumare, Ph.D.

OPINION (CBM) – On September 5, 2017 Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered a speech rescinding the five-year old Obama enacted Executive Order called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. This policy reversal reopened a historical U.S. debate about immigration and who is a real American. Rescinding DACA affects approximately 800,000 immigrants who had been temporarily relieved of fear of deportation as children born abroad, brought to the U.S. illegally, and came of age here. Most so-called “Dreamers” are productive Americans, educated, and contributing to the U.S. economy. Now the government will stop accepting new applications immediately, and allow current recipients with permits expiring before March 5, 2018 to apply for a two-year renewal before October 5, 2019. Trump has sent mixed-messages about Dreamers by tweeting, “We will resolve the DACA issue with heart and compassion—but through the lawful democratic process,” and mandating it to Congress to find a solution. Democrats, some Republicans, prominent business leaders, and grassroots immigration activists have all lambasted the rescinding of DACA.

How does this new policy affect the black communities across the nation, and what should be our collective response? Sessions, in his official announcement, stated one argument that has long resonated with some African Americans: Dreamers have “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs.” As often low-wage earners, African Americans have periodically complained that Mexican immigrants were replacing them in the work force. However, a June 2013…

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