3 Reasons Why Americans Should Want To Keep DACA

3 Reasons Why Americans Should Want To Keep DACA

The time to protest is now.
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Growing up in Durham, a city known and valued for its diversity, provided me with the opportunity to make friends and become acquainted with people from various backgrounds, religions, political beliefs, etc. I have loved living in a place that constantly challenges my ideas and politics, and hearing personal testimonies from friends and others, has impacted me a great deal regarding immigration.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president this past fall, the future of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) did not look hopeful because one of his main platform points was removing DACA. This past week, Trump stated that in the next six months he plans on ending the program.

DACA is a program that was created in 2012 by the Obama administration that allows young undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States. If they were under the age of 31 in 2012 and came into the States before they were 16 years old, all they need to do is apply.

However, other restrictions include, completing an education whether they are currently enrolled in school, have a high school diploma, have completed military service, have been enrolled in trade school, or have gotten their General Education Development (GED), having not been convicted of a felony, specific misdemeanors, or 3+ misdemeanors, and having lived in the United States since 2007.

In the application, the young immigrant provides proper documentation and evidence for all of the requirements, photos, and fees totaling $495, and they are strongly recommended to have an attorney aid them through this process. These young immigrants must also reapply to renew this work permit every two years when it expires.

So, three reasons why Americans should want to keep DACA are . . .

1.These immigrants are helping our economy.

If you are all about the logical argument (which I admit I am too a lot of the time), it can all come down to numbers. There are around 800,000 undocumented young immigrants using the DACA program. After obtaining an education, these immigrants are entering the workforce, buying goods, pursuing higher educations to get better jobs to make more money, paying taxes, and becoming entrepreneurs.

All of these actions have helped grow the United States’ economy, benefiting them and you. A study by the Center for American Progress has “calculated that ending DACA would wipe away at least $433.4 billion from the U.S. gross domestic product, or GDP, cumulatively over a decade.” Ending DACA would have a drastic negative effect on the economy, which would directly harm the average American’s economic well-being.

2. These “Dreamers” are law-abiding immigrants that just want a better life.

These young immigrants must have virtually clean police records and attend school to later on get jobs, making them positive contributors to American society. They have come here to live out the American dream and are actually under-represented in incarceration rates based proportionally on population.

The CATO Institute, “estimate[s] that DREAMers had an incarceration rate of 0.98 percent in 2015 compared to a native-born incarceration rate of 1.12 percent.” Dreamers are less likely to commit crimes than those their age that are born in America, and “DACA-ineligible illegal immigrants . . . are even less likely to be incarcerated.” Dreamers are contributing more to society than many native-born Americans, and it is well past time for us to realize this.

3. Their courage is something that America should be proud of.

Dreamers’ bravery and boldness is inspiring, whether posting their citizenship status on social media or attending protests alongside native-born allies, they are standing up loud and proud to let us know that they belong here. Educating the American people about DACA by separating the truths from the lies regarding the program is essential in getting more people on the right side of history.

In the past, Americans and immigrants have come together to protest and demand for civil rights and to keep or change social programs like DACA. The United States has always been proud of its unique heritage that consisted of people from all over the world traveling here to a land of dreams to start fresh as equals with similar values.

If keeping immigrant families together is not a good enough reason for you to want the DACA program to be continued, then how about the immigrants that are deported to their deaths? According to the Guardian, they have, “confirmed three separate cases of Honduran men who have been gunned down shortly after being deported by the U.S. government.”

These are just a few of the many examples of gangs killing deportees among arriving in their home countries that have been tracked down and reported. They came to the United States hoping and seeking for safety, only to be rejected and placed directly back into violence that they were trying to escape.

We, the American people, must get out there and protest alongside our fellow immigrant neighbors, friends, and strangers because we are all descendants of immigrants or are immigrants ourselves - some of us just arrived earlier and from farther places than others.

Cover Image Credit: 10 TV

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Pride? Pride.

Who are we? Why are we proud?

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This past week, I was called a faggot by someone close to me and by note, of all ways. The shock rolled through my body like thunder across barren plains and I was stuck paralyzed in place, frozen, unlike the melting ice caps. My chest suddenly felt tight, my hearing became dim, and my mind went blank except for one all-encompassing and constant word. Finally, after having thawed, my rage bubbled forward like divine retribution and I stood poised and ready to curse the name of the offending person. My tongue lashed the air into a frenzy, and I was angry until I let myself break and weep twice. Later, I began to question not sexualities or words used to express (or disparage) them, but my own embodiment of them.

For members of the queer community, there are several unspoken and vital rules that come into play in many situations, mainly for you to not be assaulted or worse (and it's all too often worse). Make sure your movements are measured and fit within the realm of possible heterosexuality. Keep your music low and let no one hear who you listen to. Avoid every shred of anything stereotypically gay or feminine like the plague. Tell the truth without details when you can and tell half-truths with real details if you must. And above all, learn how to clear your search history. At twenty, I remember my days of teaching my puberty-stricken body the lessons I thought no one else was learning. Over time I learned the more subtle and more important lessons of what exactly gay culture is. Now a man with a head and social media accounts full of gay indicators, I find myself wondering both what it all means and more importantly, does it even matter?

To the question of whether it matters, the answer is naturally yes and no (and no, that's not my answer because I'm a Gemini). The month of June has the pleasure of being the time of year when the LGBT+ community embraces the hateful rhetoric and indulges in one of the deadly sins. Pride. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the figures at the head of the gay liberation movement, fought for something larger than themselves and as with the rest of the LGBT+ community, Pride is more than a parade of muscular white men dancing in their underwear. It's a time of reflection, of mourning, of celebration, of course, and most importantly, of hope. Pride is a time to look back at how far we've come and realize that there is still a far way to go.

This year marks fifty years since the Stonewall Riots and the gay liberation movement launched onto the world stage, thus making the learning and embracing of gay culture that much more important. The waves of queer people that come after the AIDS crisis has been given the task of rebuilding and redefining. The AIDS crisis was more than just that. It was Death itself stalking through the community with the help of Regan doing nothing. It was going out with friends and your circle shrinking faster than you can try or even care to replenish. Where do you go after the apocalypse? The LGBT+ community was a world shut off from access by a touch of death and now on the other side, we must weave in as much life as we can.

But we can't freeze and dwell of this forever. It matters because that's where we came from, but it doesn't matter because that's not where we are anymore. We're in a time of rebirth and spring. The LGBT+ community can forge a new identity where the AIDS crisis is not the defining feature, rather a defining feature to be immortalized, mourned, and moved on from.

And to the question of what does it all mean? Well, it means that I'm gay and that I've learned the central lesson that all queer people should learn in middle school. It's called Pride for a reason. We have to shoulder the weight of it all and still hold our head high and we should. Pride is the LGBT+ community turning lemons into lemon squares and limoncello. The lemon squares are funeral cakes meant to mourn and be a familiar reminder of what passed, but the limoncello is the extravagant and intoxicating celebration of what is to come. This year I choose to combine the two and get drunk off funeral cakes. Something tells me that those who came before would've wanted me to celebrate.

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