Trump’s decision on DACA runs counter to Park City’s values
The Park Record editorial, Sept. 6-8, 2017
President Donald J. Trump continues to enact policies that run counter to many of the values that Park City residents hold dear. In addition to his previous decisions to roll back critical environmental initiatives, including U.S. participation in the Paris Climate Accord, this week he announced plans to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, legislation that allows undocumented students to work and receive college tuition benefits in the U.S. among other protections.
His actions, like the misguided attempt to disqualify transgender people from serving in the military has raised questions even among his own administration, and undermines the promises made to thousands of young ‘dreamers,’ immigrants who were brought to the U.S. when they were small children and who have been unable to gain full citizenship.
Unlike Trump and his short-sighted cohorts in Washington, D.C., Parkites have embraced this ambitious group of students who have overcome daunting challenges in their quest to become productive, successful members of their communities. Earlier this year the Park City Education Foundation spearheaded an effort to help several local students cover the cost of their application fees to qualify for DACA status and residents generously responded.
Thanks to those efforts, a handful of students will be able to apply for state tuition aid and will be able to work, legally, to help pay their way through college.
To those who contributed and to those students who applied, we say, “Stay the course. Do not give up.”
Park City’s success as a world-class resort town rests in large part on its workforce, a significant part of which is made up of immigrants. According to the last Census, 20 percent of the town’s population identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino.
They have been our partners for over two decades and like their Anglo counterparts, they have built homes and raised their families here. And now their children, their pride and joy, are ready to go to college.
What Trump does not seem to understand is that, when they succeed, we succeed. In his narrow minded world, their opportunities somehow diminish those available to regular citizens. But that is false. When our Latino neighbors ‘ children become doctors, lawyers, teachers, policemen and business executives, it elevates the whole community.
According to a statement issued on Tuesday by the Salt Lake Chamber, the administrations effort to reverse DACA, would affect as many as 9,000 young adults in Utah. it goes on to say, “The large majority of DACA recipients are hard working, contributing members of our society and an important part of our economy.”
When Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Accord, Park City, Summit County and hundreds of other enlightened communities around the country said, “Hell no.” When Trump said he would throw transgender soldiers out of the military, even his generals argued against it. If Trump persists in undoing DACA, he will have one more fight on his hands and plenty of Parkites will be happy to join that battle.
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While one cyclist will earn the title of Tour of Utah champion on Sunday, Parkites doing the responsible thing and ditching their cars in favor of other ways to get to Main Street will make us all winners.