The narrative is always the same; we must fight hatred with love, reach out to our state leaders and announce a call to action against removing DACA.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been taught that I am blessed to live in a country where anyone can achieve and live the American dream. My grandparents and parents have always taught me that although the nation that I call home was once, and sadly still is, riddled with racism and the remnants of slavery because of skin color; I have still been granted the opportunity to make my dreams come true if I work hard and put my mind to it. I am always reminded that my ancestors and those who came before me made some of the greatest sacrifices and sought out the fight for freedom that has allowed me to complete a 4-year college degree and continue to achieve my life’s goals. So what happens when the present White House administration continues to work toward unraveling those freedoms? Doing everything in their power to destroy the dreams of many young adults like myself who don’t really fit into their picture of what the American dream entails? The world claims that we have come so far and are past the injustices that this country was built upon, yet this week (in the year 2017), the Trump administration has announced plans to scrap the dreams of DREAMERS who are just as “American” as those born in this country.
The DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a program implemented by former President Barack Obama. It allows immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive work permits which would in turn defer possible deportation. The many young men and women in DACA are referred to as “Dreamers”, named after the Dream Act “which would have allowed a path to legal residency for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as minors”, in turn deferring possible deportation The Trump administration is working to crush their dreams because in their opinion the program does not “align with American values and criminalizes undocumented immigrants.” Their clouded judgement fails to realize that the DACA provides hope and opportunity for young people who did not necessarily choose to come to this country.
Removing the program leaves about 787,000 Dreamers between the ages of 15-36 with the possibility of facing deportation. For many of these young people, America is the only home they know, this would send them back to countries that is foreign to them, a place they are unfamiliar with, somewhere they don’t consider to be home.
DACA provides not only a sense of belonging for undocumented youth, but hope and the chance to fulfill their dreams. Under it, many people successfully attend and complete college, ultimately making up the doctors, teachers, and leaders who compose the melting pot of our country. Once again, the Trump administration reminds us of the bigotry and hate he used during his campaign to presidency. To deny innocent people, brought to this country more than often against their will, as minors, the opportunity to work hard and fulfill their dreams is disheartening.
Great leaders of our nation have always encouraged us to follow our dreams, and to believe that with consistency and willingness to make things happen, they can come true. We are taught that every person, no matter what their walk of life, may be entitled to live the American dream. Our country is considered the land of opportunity by others, yet removing DACA strips away that hope for many. “To target these young people is wrong — because they have done nothing wrong,” Obama wrote in response to removing the DACA. “It is self-defeating — because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel.”
Removing DACA defers the dream of so many young people in our nation. So what happens to a dream deferred? What actions can we take to ensure that the thousands of young men and women who felt protected by this program are still guaranteed that hope and the chance to make their dreams come true? The narrative is always the same; we must fight hatred with love, reach out to our state leaders and announce a call to action against removing DACA. They are young people who deserve to live the American dream, for they too are America.
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