In September, the 45th president announced the end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the stopgap President Barack Obama signed by executive order in 2012 allowing a brief sigh of relief for undocumented residents living in the United States since childhood.
The Trump Administration faces multiple lawsuits and the pressure of more than 66 major city mayors calling for the president to continue the DACA program. Action is expected soon in collaboration with Democratic congressional leaders. The discussions currently on the table have been to mix issues of border security with the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minor (DREAM) Act, which has been re-introduced multiple times but is gaining momentum with the current climate of the DREAMers facing homelessness and deportation and steady support from its primary sponsor, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois).
Nearly 800,000 young people came to the United States to pursue a dream this country continues to sell, but seemingly only to those who look a certain way.
President Donald Trump is caught in the middle of his own lies, from things said on DACA recently and statements given while on the campaign trail in 2016.
In supporting the DREAMers, Sen. Elizabeth Warren mentioned the stories of a few. One from El Savador worked 70-hour workweeks and was sexually assaulted under the threat of deportation. She has since been accepted into the DACA program, allowing her to escape the harsh environments where she once was.
Warren said that Trump wants us to see immigrants as rapists and crimals, not as who they are. These DREAMers often hold two jobs, attend school and honestly work harder than occupants of high office and CEOs in posh offices.
This is real work. These are real citizens. These are people who came to the United States escaping war, danger and other unfit environments. These DREAMers are doing the work that has earned them the right to be here.
People will say, “America should not punish children for the sins of their parents.” But often these aren’t sins of parents, but rather brave decisions to secure the safety for themselves or loved ones. Acts of survival that anyone would do under the same or similar circumstances.
The reality is that the overwhelming majority of the recipients of DACA are honest, hard-working, loving and motivated people. They are seeking a better life for themselves and their families.
It is overwhelmingly racist to say — knowing that the majority of DACA recipients are from Latin America — that they are “rapists and criminals.” It has become abundantly clear that there is no compassion in the thought process behind these decisions.
Gui Jean-Paul Chevalier is a Seattle-based recording artist and author from rural Washington, living counter-small-town mind for the cause of humanity. Read previous columns from Gui.
Wait, there's more. Check out articles in the full September 20 issue.