The future of Dreamers under the federal budget


Laurianne Gutierrez

In January 2018, the government shut down. This was essentially due to a contentious battle over two seemingly unrelated issues. In September 2017, President Trump stipulated that Congress have six months to determine the future of the DACA program and its existence. As the deadline for the DACA program loomed, the debate over the federal budget intensified. Almost as an ultimatum in hopes of saving a program that may have severe implications if abruptly put to an end, Democrats took the initiative to withhold federal funding.

I spoke with Marla Teixeira, a senior at The University, who relayed her insight pertaining to the DACA program. When asked about the potential implications of ending the DACA program, Teixeira replied, “You mean besides the forced displacement of 800,000 contributing people from the United States to a country they barely know?… If that’s not enough just look at the hit the national GDP would take without them. It’s not a case of opinion anymore, Dreamers are a fundamental part of our culture, our society and our economy. For a president so worried about raising the country’s economy, I don’t get this move.”

In January of 2018, Democrats desperately tried to save the DACA program by derailing the federal budget debate, prompting me to ask about what this may indicate about the magnitude of the continuation of the DACA program. Teixeira added, “Although I do understand the general disadvantages of this tactic, this is such an important and time sensitive issue that it requires drastic measures in order to get justice for Dreamers. Drastic but necessary.”

Teixeira further elucidated the importance of continuing the DACA program, stating, “Dreamers are part of our nation, they are sewn into the fabric of the United States. And they deserve an education and protection. It’s plain and simple, DACA is necessary.”

Teixeira also had some suggestions for students who hope to get more civically engaged. “New York is a hub of social revolution and Pace students are natural activists. If any of them feel intimidated to try something on their own, the Center for Community Action and Research is always leading activist and volunteer trips, so feel free to join!”

The responses that I received regarding this matter illuminate the import of the DACA program. The Democrats’ response of halting the implementation of a new federal budget if the Republicans ceased to address the DACA issue only confirms the program’s vitality and the need for awareness and action to save it.


Flickr / Molly Adams