One of the most common misconceptions about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, commonly called DACA, is that it somehow offered legal status for illegal aliens. This incorrect perception of DACA has allowed open borders proponents to conjure up scenarios where assumedly legalized immigrants will have their lives suddenly and unexpectedly uprooted and destroyed if the program is indeed rescinded by the Trump administration.
For example, popular illegal immigration proponent, Jose Antonio Vargas, who has changed his Twitter title to #DefendDACA, retweeted a tweet suggesting that Trump is creating a new class of illegal aliens by rescinding DACA. “A lot of us are not ‘new’ Americans,” the tweet suggested, “we must remember that, we have just been illegalized.”
??so important https://t.co/BSFFc6r7O0
— #DefendDACA (@joseiswriting) September 12, 2017
However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. DACA never offered any form of legal status to illegal aliens, nor does it protect them from future deportation. This is clearly stated on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service’s webpage for the DACA program: “Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.”
DACA recipients remain illegal aliens, and are therefore still subject to the penalties associated with unlawful presence in the United States. Deferment under the program does not offer any special rights. All discretion concerning whether to continue deferring action against DACA recipients belongs to the federal government.
Whether DACA should be rescinded, left untouched, or placed in the hands of Congress is hotly debated. However, it is important that the program be accurately described for what it is. Because, so far, many in the mainstream media are presenting the program as a form of legal status – which simply isn’t true.