Hawkeyes for DREAM Iowa, Emiliano Martinez, speaks before a hundreds strong crowd of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals supporters at the Old Capitol Building on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. The recent decision regarding DACA's recission has been a highly controversial issue in national politics. (James Year/The Daily Iowan)

Hartzler: DACA had to go, but DREAMers shouldn’t

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DACA was unconstitutional — now it’s up to the U.S. Congress to protect the DREAMers.

The problem with DACA was not that it gave amnesty to thousands of immigrants who had come to the USA illegally but rather the way it was implemented by the Obama administration. The DACA program was in direct contradiction to previously existing immigration law. For a law to be changed, Congress must change it. President Obama became impatient and, as was a pattern in his presidency, abused the power of the executive order. In this manner, he acted in direct contradiction to the Constitution of the United States. Unfortunately for Obama, in acting unilaterally and creating this program through executive order, he left the door wide open for the next president to end it in the same manner: by executive order. President Trump was right in his decision. While the program will be ended in its current state, he allowed time for Congress to act.

RELATED: Pentacrest protesters rally to support DACA

An enormous majority of the immigrants protected by DACA are good, responsible people who love the only country they’ve ever known, the USA. They go to school, work, pay taxes, and contribute to communities across the country. They make our country better. It is important that they be thought of as people, humans, and not political pawns.

RELATED: UI community stands in solidarity with DACA students

Trump has done the right thing in giving the responsibility of creating immigration policy back to Congress. Now, it is the lawmakers’ turn to step up and make sure this program is continued. Congress should pass a similar if not identical plan soon. Additionally, Congress should look at the origin of this problem. It should look at border security. This entire debate, from constitutionality to Trump’s decision, can all be traced back to the moment that these children’s parents brought them across the border and into the United States. Congress should act to secure the American border and reform the broken immigration system, so that everyone has the opportunity to come and pursue the American Dream.

— Zachary Hartzler,

University of Iowa student

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