Opportunity for all

Undocumented immigrants can now apply for two-year deportation deferrals.

Daily Editorial Board

Immigration has always played an important role in America’s economic prosperity and social progress. The nation was formed from the different cultures and beliefs of people coming from all over the world. Immigration is often mischaracterized as an economic burden for the country, but history has proven our success as a nation is because of immigrants, not in spite of them.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program would allow more than 6,000 undocumented immigrants in Minnesota to apply for a renewable two-year deferment of their deportation, according to the Immigration Policy Center.

Young immigrants who came to the U.S. before the age of 16, have lived here for at least five years, are currently in school, graduated high school or have served in the military and have a clean criminal record are able to apply for the program. Through DACA, young people that don’t yet have citizenship can obtain work visas so they can continue to live here. So far, nearly 180,000 people have applied for DACA, and according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 4,591 applications have been approved.

The DACA program is a gateway to opportunity for young undocumented students who wish to contribute their skills and labor to our nation. Educated individuals are the best candidates for jobs, and immigrants who have lived here and studied hard in school should be granted the same opportunities as natural-born citizens. Young people who have lived their lives as hard-working Americans shouldn’t be denied the vast resources and opportunities our nation has to offer.