The Only Home They Know
By: Maria Chavez
In the Washington Post article, “Hundreds of Colleges Mobilize to Defend Immigrant Students” Anderson emphasizes the fear that kids face from being illegal through their parents, but how they wish to stay in the United States to pursue a higher education. Anderson discusses Obama’s Administration decision to enforce the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, for short, in 2012. Through Obama’s decision, the act “has permitted some unlawfully present aliens who were brought to the United States as children and raised here to obtain temporary relief from removal and, in many cases, employment authorization” (The Obama Administration’s Immigration Action). The Act relieves students from being deported if they had come into the United States before the age of 16 as well as meeting other requirements like good behavior, which “requires the noncitizen to show that she bears no significant criminal history. Some benefits even allow them to work with permits (Wadhia). Being an immigrant myself, I strongly believe that everyone has a chance for success even through their parent’s wrongful decision to stay illegally.
Anderson does a great job of using Danna Chavez Calvi as the pathos to draw in the reader and view a new perspective of someone who has gone through the experience of being a DACA student themselves. Anderson introduces Chavez as a senior from Northern Virginia enrolled in George Mason University that moved to the United States from Bolivia when she was only 8 years old. Although she was illegal, through receiving DACA status she was able to obtain a driver’s license and a temporary social security. Not only this, but was she able to go to the University for the price of in-state tuition instead of paying for out-of-state tuition. The issue where “many states do not allow undocumented students to access in-state tuition or state financial aid benefits” makes it even more expensive for them to go to the University especially since, “the average tuition and fees for public four-year institutions have risen by 5 percent per year over the past decade” (Malik). Thankfully through her DACA status, Chavez was able to qualify for in-state tuition allowing her to save around $20,000. By the help of this act, she is planning on graduating with a Communications major and a minor in Spanish.
According to Migration Policy Institute, there is a population of almost 2 million students eligible for the DACA. Although the majority is the Mexican population it includes other countries like Peru, Korea, Vietnam, Jamaica, and India. Just in Tennessee are there about 23,000 students eligible for DACA. Anderson uses a lot of logos in his article as well by mentioning that the “nation’s largest state, the University of California system counts more than 3,700 undocumented students. Many have DACA protection,” showing the wide range of students who choose to go to college despite their illegal status. (Anderson). The article also discusses taking a chance and not staying quiet in the fight for more DACA children. According to Malik’s article about DACA information, there was a survey by the University of California- San Diego that proved that, “64 percent of undocumented Millennials stated that they felt “a greater sense of belonging in the United States” after receiving DACA” (Malik). The survey introduces a new outlook on the struggle of not belonging although most students have lived here a majority of their lives.
Through Anderson’s article, inspiring college students can understand the difficulty in how illegal students can be affected in decisions that they didn’t do. However, other obstacles still include financial, legal, and cultural barriers making it turn into a constant cycle of struggle. There will also be lots of people who are against the concept that illegals should be given rights in America because of their status causing a lot of retrogression for kids who wish to pursue a career. Some people say that it’s not fair for illegals to be making money since they do not pay the taxes, although once they would be given a job and a permitted to work legally would they be able to abide as a citizen as well. Through Anderson’s article, the audience is given background on DACA information and how it is important to allow immigrant children a right to pursue an education.
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Bachmeier, James Bachmeier, and Colin Hammar. “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
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Malik, Sanam. “DACA Helps Undocumented Students Access Higher Education.” Center for
American Progress. Center for American Progress, 7 Apr. 2016. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.
“The Obama Administration’s Immigration Action.” Supreme Court Debates 19.6.
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Wadhia, Shoba Sivaprasad, “Response, In Defense of DACA, Deferred Action, and the
DREAM Act” Texas Law Review, Penn State Law Research Paper No. 5-2013.