The Trump administration is advising beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to “prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States,” ABC News reported Tuesday. This leaves the fate of 800,000 uncertain.
This is not American. It is more reminiscent of the Nazi administrator Adolf Eichmann, honing his bureaucratic skills preparing passport documents to Jews being hounded out of Germany in the early days of the Third Reich. It’s an unsettling decision, even for Trump. And it comes at a lower point for racial relations in America than we have seen in some time.
This newest assault of Trump’s on the dictates of conscience and reason deserves no end of castigation, in the opinion of Millennial Democrats, but he does not deserve the spotlight. The more important story is who the DREAMers are, where they’ve been, and where they might be going. We are talking about 800,000 young people. Millennials, and their children. Our peers and our countrymen. They fought beside us all the way to help stop Trump from taking office in the first place, by voting Democratic en masse. We will keep faith with them.
The people protected by the DACA program are all our age. Known as “Dreamers” those granted approval must have been younger than 31 on 15 June 2012, when the program began, and undocumented”, lacking legal immigration status. The millennial generation is considered to begin with the year 1981. This is us.
These are kids we went to school with. We were on the same sports teams, we were in the same classes. We played video games together, we partied together, we smoked weed together. We are one. And we will not be divided. The message to Donald Trump will be sent loud and clear, when first he comes for the Dreamers. Not today.
The process of beginning this is bound to cause total chaos. First, new applications under DACA are no longer to be accepted. Those already in the program will have both their legal status and things like work and school permits begin expiring in March 2018.
Unless Congress finds a way to pass through some piece of legislation to open a channel for legal immigration status, Dreamers will all lose their rights as citizens by March 2020. They could even be deported and sent back to countries of birth that they may not have ever even been to. It is still unclear whether this is the fate the government now has in store for them.
Fear of this had been rising on the way to Tuesday’s announcement, which will impact families from every reach of the Americas.
Barack Obama spoke out against the rollback, calling it cruel, and self defeating.
“It’s a cruel hand that extends the American dream and then steals it away. #DACA #DREAMers,” wrote Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., in the first of three tweets on the topic.
Maria Nabarro of Stockton, CA, a city with a population that is 1/3 foreign born, also spoke out on this terrible decision, how it’s affecting her, and how it goes against our American values and ideals.
The 22 year old was one of a number of Dreamers interviewed by CBS about DACA. It has kept her in the United States legally for the last five years.
“I don’t think I’ve given myself time to process, but I know it’s uncertain just like my feelings right now so, yeah a lot of uncertainty, unfortunately,” she said.
Nabarro is currently attending college. She has made herself an asset to our country, by educating herself, working hard, and paying taxes. She said that Trump’s decision has made her feel abandoned by the only country they know and love.
Her work permit will no longer be valid and she won’t have protection from being deported. Protests are scheduled nationwide, to help people like her make themselves clear.
Alejandro Carrillo, a community organizer, said that “I know personally several people who are on the receiving end of DACA and the issue goes beyond the repeal because they also have their contact information and their personal information of where they are, so…that’s a worry to myself,”.
Millennial Bruna Distinto, who came to the United States from Bolivia when she was 6, started her senior year at Trinity Washington University this week. She says she feels stressed out, that it’s hard to concentrate on her studies, and with tremendous cause. One can only imagine.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. –Martin Niemöller