‘Obama did the right thing’
Alberto Soto | guest writer
When I was 8 years old my parents brought me to what they called a “better place.”
That better place was none other than the United States of America.
When I turned 16, I was ready to go out and get my driving permit. I was super excited and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the wheel.
That dream got shut down quickly, as the people at the driver’s license office told me that I was not eligible to get a permit, as they said, “You are not a citizen of the United States and we can’t grant you permission for a driver’s permit or a driver’s license.”
This was one of the saddest days of my life.
Five years went by and I was still in the same place, 21 years old and no driver’s license, but I wasn’t the only one going through this. There were about 2.1 million young immigrants suffering from this dilemma.
On June 15, 2012, President Obama made an executive order to stop the deportation of young illegal immigrants and give them work permits.
This bill is called Consideration of Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrivals. To be eligible for this you have to be more than 16 years old and younger than 30.
You also must have no criminal record, have been in the country for five continuous years, have graduated from a U.S. high school, earned a GED, or have served in the military.
For us 2.1 million young immigrants, this was the happiest day of our lives, but for some other people this was the worst decision President Obama has made since he has been president.
The fact that some illegal immigrants were now going to be eligible to be in the United Stated legally made some people furious. They did not think it was a good idea.
As soon as the order was passed, people started talking about how it was a back-door amnesty, how this bill was going to cost taxpayers $6.2 billion a year, how we were going to take jobs away from Americans and crowd out the classrooms at school.
Some people said that it was also going to be easier for people to cross the border.
Those were all false statements. We are not here to take other people’s jobs or “crowd out” U.S. classrooms.
We are here for a better life. That’s why our parents brought us here. They left everything and risked everything for us.
We are just as equal as American citizens. We went to school together, played baseball in the same fields, rode the same bus. Some of us graduated with high honors and even became entrepreneurs and started our own companies.
The Deferred Action Bill is actually a great help to the United States.
You might ask yourself, how can this possibly help the U.S. economy?
According to the Center of American Progress, the bill will create about 1.4 million jobs and add an estimated $329 billion to the U.S. economy. How is this money going to appear?
Well, here is the thing. We are now eligible to pursue a higher education, and with a higher education we can get better jobs with better earnings.
Those better earnings in turn trigger spending on goods and services. All that spending will create billions of dollars in induced economic impact, billions of dollars in jobs, and billions in increased revenue.
The deferred action is already helping out the economy. Some of my friends have graduated from college and started building their dream homes and buying their dream cars.
The bill itself has helped me out a lot. I am now able to drive without the fear of getting deported and as of March 16, 2013, I became a general building contractor and got a job with a great position, with a concrete company.
After graduating from Pittsburg State University I plan on starting my own company to create new jobs for all Americans.
President Obama did the right thing. This will help the U.S. economy for years to come.
Alberto Soto is a member of Hispanic of Today and a junior in construction management