The Short Version: DACA

The Short Version: DACA

The point of it all is to break down the headlines, determine why an issue is important, and reveal the best arguments on each side of the story. Recently Cleo focused  on online companies asking if we should be able to deny service to individuals because they disagree with their views? This week, the debate is about DACA and examines options to replace the act.

Note: If you have missed any of Cleo’s blogs, just go to our Home Page, type “The Short Version” into Search (magnifying glass icon) and poof, like magic, all her blogs will appear.

“I love getting feedback every week—thank you! If you want come hang out, debate a thing or two, and meet other Shorties, check out Short Events,” says Cleo.

Cleo Constantine Abrams of the “Short Form,” offering densely packed spins on issues of national and global importance.

Cleo Constantine Abrams of the “Short Form,” offering densely packed spins on issues of national and global importance.

What’s happening?

The Trump administration’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is causing chaos in the lives of nearly 800,000 young immigrants—and in Congress.

DACA is an immigration policy, not a law. It protects unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and allows them to work legally.

These immigrants are called DREAMers after the failed DREAM Act, which would have granted them permanent residency and a path to citizenship. In 2012, after 10 years of failed bipartisan versions of the act, President Obama signed DACA as a temporary order while negotiations continued. A permanent solution was never passed.

Here’s how DACA works for a DREAMer:


Why is it important?

DACA addresses one part of a larger problem created by strict border controls. Before the early 1990’s, 86% of undocumented migration was offset by people leaving—many adult men traveled back and forth for work, leaving families in other countries. As border controls became more strict (and therefore the risk of being punished increased), the likelihood of illegal migrants leaving again within a year declined. In other words, people crossed the border once and stayed, bringing their families with them.

For the children in those families, DACA is crucial. It allows them to work, pursue their education, and live in the country they’ve known all their lives.

It’s also popular: Around 70% of Americans support DACA, including over 60% of Trump supporters. So why did the Trump administration end it? Attorney Jeff Sessions made several incorrect claims about the program in a speech officially announcing the end of the policy. The real answer seems to be this: the Trump administration is delivering a hard-line stance on immigration to a core group of followers. At the same time, Trump hopes to appeal to more moderate Republicans by challenging Congress to pass a permanent solution.

DREAMers are not immediately at risk for deportation, thanks to a six month delay in the policy change. What options are legislators debating to replace it?

Debate it!

What should we do to replace DACA?




Read the debate here.

Why “The Short Version” on TIO:

Over nine years ago, Telluride Inside…and Out began as a lifestyle webzine. Today, in the full knowledge that Telluride is a window on the world, we continue to bring the “zazz” (short for “pizzazz) of the region to a local, national, and global audience by covering everything from Telluride’s robust cultural economy – major events and festivals – to health and fitness and outdoor adventure. When Telluride travels, we write about places to go, people to meet too. (That’s part of the “Out” part of our handle, the other, obviously, Outdoors.)

And now, this weekly column, “The Short Version,” which offers simple summaries of issues of national and global importance.

“The Short Version” is written by Cleo Constantine Abram, the daughter of Telluride locals Eleni Constantine and Jonathan Abram (and therefore an honorary local and regular visitor) and a digital strategist.

Why “The Short Version”? Because, though we live in Shangri-La, our bubble is not impermeable and the rest of the world is only a click away. Because there is no inconsequential action; only consequential inaction. And because information is power in a moment so many of us are feeling powerless.

More about Cleo Constantine Abram:


Cleo Abram 2


Cleo grew up in Washington D.C., lives in New York City, and loves to visit her parents in Telluride. She authors “The Short Version,” a newsletter that explains each week’s most important issue and both sides of the debate around it.

Cleo is a digital strategist now working at Vox, a general interest news site for the 21st century. Its mission is simple: Explain the news. Politics, public policy, world affairs, pop culture, science, business, and more.

Cleo’s work focuses on ways to share, educate, and inform using online platforms. While in college at Columbia University, she guided the school’s entrance into online education through her role as the youngest elected representative to the Columbia Senate, which makes university-wide policy.

She continued her work on online education at TED-Ed, the educational branch of the nonprofit, building new programs and online tools to support high school teachers worldwide.

Continuing her work with TED, Cleo founded and led an early TEDx conference, the organization’s community-specific series.

Recently, Cleo returned to school, studying video storytelling at Columbia Journalism School.

Most importantly, Cleo loves to ski.


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