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EDITORIAL: Trump's decision to end DACA isn't just terrible policy, it's even worse politics

Deporting those impacted by DACA is the antithesis to the American Story

Gloria Mendoza, 26, a Dreamer who is originally from Mexico City, protests on Sept. 5, 2017 at Trump Tower in New York in opposition to the announcement by President Trump that DACA will be changed.

In our Sept. 21 edition, we introduced you to the successes and challenges international students face when adjusting to life in America. Something we noticed while speaking to them was the uneasiness many of them have experienced. Many of the students told us their families were uncomfortable with their decision to attend school in America because of the national discussion on immigration.

President Donald Trump’s rhetoric, policies and actions have created fear in the lives of our immigrant population and around the world. His decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival policy is the latest example of misguided nationalism.

We know America is a nation of laws, there is no doubt about this. Murderers, thieves and drug dealers should either be in jail or deported. 

DACA is to provide temporary relief from deportation for people who arrived at a young age, perhaps even too young to remember being brought over. It has never been about granting amnesty. It was to give them peace of mind until Congress passed legislation to settle questions about their residency.

“Put yourself in their shoes,” said former President Barack Obama in 2012. “Imagine you’ve done everything right your entire life ­— studied hard, worked hard, maybe even graduated at the top of your class — only to suddenly face the threat of deportation to a country that you know nothing about, with a language that you may not even speak.” 

The Trump Administration has given Congress six months to pass a bill protecting DREAMers or presumably he will start deportations.

The decision shows this administration doesn’t understand the timetable to pass or change legislation. Six months is no sane timeframe for reframing an issue of this scope. Nor does he have any idea the reality more than 800,000 DACA applicants face.

Legislation is about solving a pressing problem our nation is facing: tax reform, infrastructure spending, a more refined health care system. These are the types of problems America requires solutions to, not threatening the lives of people getting an education.

Many DACA recipients came to this nation at an age when they couldn’t understand what was happening around them. They arrived as children, growing up in America, attending school and perhaps finding they were undocumented later in life. To be a DACA recipient, they had to show they were getting an education, came to America before their 16th birthday and have no felonies or more than three misdemeanors. All their lives, the vast majority have lived within our laws and society.

Now, they’re being treated like criminals.

For the most part, the only crime they’ve committed is having parents who brought them to this country to improve their lives.

To throw out DREAMers is to throw out our commitment to the American Dream. 

America has thrived for generations by taking the best and brightest from around the world. There’s a reason why the Statue of Liberty is engraved with the poem “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free/… Send me these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.” 

We are the hailed as the land of opportunity — not just for some, but for all.

Trump talks about “making America great again.” One way we do that is through encouraging a diversity in thoughts, abilities and life experiences in this country.

Not by deporting people to a country they have never known