The past couple of months have been rough for the United States and the people living in it. Regardless of nationality, country of origin or even legal status, recent events have led people from all backgrounds to rethink their position in current debates. After a month of rising tensions regarding North Korea’s nuclear testing, Hurricane Harvey made its first of two landfalls, devastating Houston and extracting thousands of people from their homes. Finally, the stress reached its peak as Donald Trump finally followed through with one of his ominous campaign promises: on Tuesday, the White House announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) plan would be repealed.
There will be countless articles speaking of DACA and why it should be protected. Some of those articles will talk about Barack Obama’s bold but necessary move to bypass Congress in order to protect tens of thousands of people that consider the United States their only and true home. Some others will speak of the benefits immigrants bring to the US economy or how the United States is a country built on immigrants. Most articles are likely to mention that immigrants are hardworking, honest and talented, so they should be allowed to be Dreamers. There will also be several articles stating that the decision to rescind the program was the right call. Rivers of ink will run on and on about how the legislative and the executive branches of government should remain separate, and that Congress will now act in favor of immigrants. Some might even go ahead and agree with the Attorney General Jeff Sessions and call the dismantling of the program the “compassionate thing to do”.
Most of those articles will forget that immigrants are human too. This will not be one of those articles.
The fact that the rescission of the program was announced without a replacement in sight is not a call for Congress to get to work, it is an attack to the immigrant population. In the words of Lacy M. Johnson, an op-ed contributor for the New York Times, Trump has been promoting the idea that “America is a small boat and there just aren’t enough seats”. And boy, are those seats expensive. Dreamers are now expected to put their hopes in Congress, the same institution that has failed to grant them protection all along. These are people who know no other life, their home countries are not their own and are often unsafe to return to. Lives will be destroyed, families will be separated and people will lose their homes.What could possibly be, in the words of the Attorney General, “compassionate” about this choice? This decision is hateful and is not for the good of the country; it is to serve racist, xenophobic agendas. Repealing DACA is shameful for America. This is supposed to be the land of opportunity and our government is trying to strip the opportunities of people who never had a choice in whether or not to come to this country.
Members of the Drew community who feel strongly about this issue should reach out to their congressperson and urge them to protect DACA, but most importantly, to protect Dreamers.