Dreamers are Americans, just like the rest of us

Editorial Staff

Last week, the Trump administration announced the end of the Obama-era program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The Obama Administration unveiled this program in 2012 as a way to help undocumented immigrants brought here at a very young age.

DACA gives eligible individuals a two-year period of deferred deportation and allows them to have a work permit. Those who qualify must prove they were brought to the U.S. before they were 16 (no later than June 15, 2007) and must have a clean criminal record. DACA costs about $500 to renew every two years for the roughly 800,000 dreamers in the United States right now.

So what is President Trump’s reasoning behind his decision to end this program? Dreamers have grown up in this country and for most, it is the only country they know. Deporting them will not bring jobs back and will most certainly not make America great again. Trump’s decision has caused a rift in his own party, for DACA has wide, bipartisan support.

This gross appeal to the alt-right with this decision will not be taken sitting down. Numerous states have followed California in filing a lawsuit against the Trump administration, and rightly so. Dreamers contribute to the American economy and fight in our military, putting their lives on the line for us every single day.

Trump has called for DACA to be “wound down” in the next six months and wants Congress to find a “permanent” solution in that time. Dreamers are worried, however. DACA allowed them to get a social security number, job and a credit card. Now that they may be subject to deportation, ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) knows where they work and live.

What is even more unfortunate is that people are now starting to “out” DACA recipients like Paola Garcia. Garcia attends Transylvania University and received a flood of nasty comments on her Facebook page, which stemmed from a fellow Transylvania student exposing her information on an alt-right Facebook page.

How can we, as Americans, stand for this? Have we forgotten our roots? What right did our ancestors have when they came here? What makes us more American than Dreamers?

Dreamers work, breathe and fight for this country. In fact, they should be commended for continuing to work and fight for a country that is trying to jeopardize their lives and freedom. Dreamers are Americans. They embody America’s core values of perseverance, strength and the aim of a better life. Dreamers are Americans, just like the rest of us.

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