When The Dreamer Dies, What Happens To The (American) Dream?

Breaking news: Donald Trump has made another dick move. 
This one, affecting almost 800,000 people, might be his worse yet.

What’s he done now?

Trump announced yesterday that he planned to repeal a policy set out by President Obama which protected the rights of people who were brought into the USA illegally when they were children.  Nearly 800,000 people are currently protected under Daca (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).

Who are Daca, and why do they keep being called ‘Dreamers’?

Daca was created by Obama in 2012 and it meant that those brought in illegally when they were under the age of 16 were given the temporary legal right to work, study and live in the USA.  First, all those who came forward were vetted to ensure no criminal history or threat to national security, and once they passed the government promised to take no deportation action for two years (longer, if they renewed).  Giving them this right meant they could apply for things like drivers licenses and could apply to college.  Daca was originally called the Dream Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) and this original proposal by Obama, which Congress failed to pass, would have offered the Dreamers the chance of permanent, legal residency.  Remember that some of them have only grown up in the US.  It is the only country they have ever known.  They might only speak English.  Deporting them is just… cruel.  Most Dreamers are from Latin America, and are currently between 15 and 36 years old.

Are we fighting back?

Hell yes we are!  Microsoft, Apple and Facebook have already come back with fists up, offering support and in the case of the former saying they will provide legal support for anyone employee facing deportation.  Protest marches have and will be held across the US.  The CEO of Trump’s Diversity Council has resigned.  And the Dreamers themselves have stood up and said they won’t hide in the shadows.

But there will be fewer illegal immigrants, isn’t that a good thing?

Look, nobody can sum this up better than the leader that originally put Daca into place, President Obama.  In a response to Trump’s decision (#notmypresident) he issued the following statement:

Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us.
— Barack Obama

So no, fewer illegal immigrants is not the answer.  Humanity and kindness is.

 

Lisa Dickenson