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DACA develops dreams

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Rather than locking undocumented students outside of the system, programs such as DACA, Deferred Assistance for Childhood Arrivals, are bringing opportunities to deserving undocumented students.

On campus this week, representatives spoke about Bridging Dreams, a program which aids  Los Angeles teens in the DACA application process. DACA enables undocumented youth to gain work permits in the U.S.

Instead of working under the table, undocumented workers can gain a work permit to become legally employed. Though this means the workers will have to pay taxes on their earnings, they will gain numerous benefits, from receiving a legal U.S. issued identification card and earning at least minimum wage.

Through DACA, only those with minimal to no misdemeanors on file can receive benefits. DACA seeks to endorse law-abiding citizens, where many employed U.S. citizens are not worthy of any endorsement.

DACA applicants may be hesitant divulging personal information to the program because of a rational fear of being deported. Bridging Dreams qualms these fears by providing consultations with pro-bono lawyers. These lawyers assess the likelihood of an applicant’s work permit approval, and is straightforward in discussing the risks with clients.

While some may say this government-funded program is a waste of resources, it encourages those undocumented students to participate in the labor force. This labor is a critical driving force in our country, especially in border states such as California.

Opponents of DACA, largely Republican, have tried to cut funding from this program. They claim that allowing immigrant people to work in the U.S. cuts down job opportunities available to residents. While immigrant workers do compete for jobs primarily alongside residents without high school diplomas, this makes little difference to U.S. citizens in the workforce as a whole.

More local schools should rise to promote DACA and Bridging Dreams to encourage hard-working youth to join the workforce. To support this program is to support their student bodies.

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The student news site of University High in Los Angeles, California
DACA develops dreams