By Andrew Jordan ’18
On Sept. 5 2017, on behalf of President Donald Trump, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the termination of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Brophy President Ms. Adria Renke and Principal Mr. Bob Ryan quickly responded to the decision in a letter sent to the Brophy community.
“Many current Brophy students, alumni, and their families have benefited from the temporary relief that DACA has provided them, and after this morning’s announcement, their future is uncertain,” said Mr. Ryan and Ms. Renke in the letter.
They state in the letter that Brophy is committed to aiding those affected and has directed them to Mr. Jonathan Londono ’10 for further guidance.
“We will summon volunteer resources from our Brophy community to provide assistance and support,” Mr. Ryan and Ms. Renke said.
In their third point of action mentioned in the letter, they call for the Brophy community to contact and encourage local and state representatives to support immigration reform.
The perspective in the letter is supported and reaffirmed among members of the faculty.
Spanish teacher Mr. Ian Munro and social studies teacher Ms. Kelly Guffey offered their opinion on the subject.
“DACA is a step in the right direction, we’re a nation of immigrants,” said Mr. Munro. “These are hardworking people that I have grown up with my whole life and DACA provided an opportunity for the children who didn’t make the decision to come here to be a real person and contribute to society.”
“It broke my heart,” Mr. Munro said, referring to when he first heard the news.
“Now that our economy is not as grandiose as it used to be, we’re looking for any kind of people to blame and unfortunately that has fallen on the hispanics.”
Both Mr. Munro and Ms. Guffey agreed on the economic consequences on the termination of DACA.
“It would be absolutely catastrophic,” said Ms. Guffey.
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are over 800,000 people currently enrolled in DACA.
“You have people that are literally paying the government for an opportunity to work and pay taxes,” Mr. Munro said.
“The Center for American Progress estimated that the United States would lose about $460 billion in GDP over the next 10 years,” Julia Blum said in the article “DACA by the numbers.”
“About 788,000 people have had their requests for DACA status accepted,” according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. “Their average hourly wage was $17.46 an hour, up from $10.29 before receiving DACA.”
Despite DACA being “a step” in the right direction, as Mr. Munro said, it is not enough.
“I think it’s better for the economy if [the Dreamers] are given DACA status, however, since it is an executive order, it doesn’t provide as secure protection as comprehensive immigration reform would,” Ms. Guffey said.
Since President Donald Trump allowed for a six month period for Congress to pass legislation, there is a chance that immigration reform could result from this.
“I don’t want it to go away, it would be terrible. A law would be more protective but lord knows DACA is not the only immigration problem we have in this country. Comprehensive reform would be better for the country, for the economy, for border security, and obviously those who are considered Dreamers,” Ms. Guffey said.
Although both Mr. Munro and Ms. Guffey agree that there is a chance that such reform will be passed, they are both critical of congress’ ability to make it happen.
Nelson Martinez ’18 and Andrew Nahom ’18 provide their thoughts from the perspective of the students.
“DACA is a symbol of hope that this country still believes in the dream of its forefathers – that dream being that immigrants from anywhere can come to this country and live their unique, yet equally important, American Dream,” Martinez said.
He went on to say that the “Dreamers” deserve to have the opportunity to live the same way as all Americans, which is why he was so angry about the repeal.
Nahom said that he understood why Trump had it.
“I don’t think Trump wants to kick these kids out of the country,” Nahom said.
He admitted that his first reaction was one of shock, but when he read more, he understood why it had happened.
“DACA is a decision that Obama made to not enforce current immigration law. What he should have done is go through the legislature so that DACA would become codified in law,” he said.
That way, he explained, the “Dreamers” would not have such an unsure place in this country.
As for the rest of the students, Nahom says that the general reaction has been overwhelmingly negative.
“I’d venture to say most, if not all students know at least one family that would be affected, and when the issue is humanized and personalized it’s nearly impossible to support the decision as described by the headlines,” he said.
However, he continued, there is a lot more to this news than meets the eye. It’s more than likely that more good will come from this than bad.
“I do think they’ll pass some form of the Dream Act. Even our ineffectual Congress can pass something if they know their seats are on the line, and I think they’re aware that 2018 is incoming,” Nahom said.
Overall, these appear to be critical times for all of those who support or do not support comprehensive immigration reform, but the reaction and opinion of Brophy is fairly clear.