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International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 32, Issue 1, Spring 2018

Joseph Farrell
Pages 33-47

DACA-ptives
On the Moral Quality of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program

The play on words in the title is used to illustrate a problem facing the United States government, United States citizens, and illegal immigrants. Recent estimates describe the number of illegal immigrants living in the United States at between eleven and twelve million individuals. To address issues with some of our illegal immigrants, on June 15, 2012, President Obama initiated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. This is an Executive Order easing the burdens of immigration law on some illegal immigrants living in the United Stated. In what follows, I will explain how in spite of there being a right on the part of the United States and nations in general to exclude immigrants and to deport illegal immigrants, the DACA program is actually morally good if not a right on the part of the people in question insofar as they are captives of the will of their parents/guardians who brought them here originally and captives of a system of laws from which they cannot escape without help. In a sense, the DACA program liberates captives and rescues said captives from a legal and moral prison created by all those around them. Rescinding it involves moral turpitude.

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