I Dream of DACA



Dreamers march in support of DACA at a rally in Los Angeles.

Dreamers march in support of DACA at a rally in Los Angeles.

We all saw it coming with the current administration. After all, immigration was such a hot topic during the debates and in the political rhetoric that has been spread throughout the world over the past several months. When news broke on September 5 that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would be revoked, it was almost to be expected.

Affecting the lives of almost 800,000 DREAMers who are only given this status if they are seen as talented achievers and active members of society, DACA was enacted under former President Barack Obama through an executive order. Many Republicans believed that the president had overstepped his duties as commander in chief.

According to current President Donald J. Trump, the revocation of DACA was simply brought forth in order to bring the DREAM Act back into Congress.

For those of you who are unaware of the history of DACA and the DREAM Act, the DREAM Act was brought to Congress in 2001, only to be dismissed once reaching the floor.

Nevertheless, Trump’s decision to end  the program was faced with outrage from organizations, public figures, and common folk, calling for support from their local communities as well as those in Washington D.C.

Here’s where things become inconsistent in regards to the president’s intentions: Throughout the 2016 presidential election, the Republican nominee spearheaded the movement to “build the wall” and, though never uttered himself, many of his supporters at rallies and on social media reiterated phrases such as “drain the swamp.”

There were even points on the campaign trail where he deliberately pledged to end the program and deport illegal immigrants.

The week following the official statement saying DACA would be revoked, Trump was quick to say during a press conference how much he supported DREAMers and the cause they represented, saying, “We’re going to show great heart. DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me, I will tell you. To me, it’s one of the most difficult subjects I have because you have these incredible kids.”

This statement is just one of many that comes to show how much his anti-immigrant “America first” rhetoric has softened.

Regardless of whether or not Trump comes out criticizing and claiming slander against those calling his statements hypocritical, what is most significant is the support from highly influential entities such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, and even our very own, NDB.

The Catholic Church has seen these DREAMers, these people protected under DACA, as intelligent and successful contributors to society.

This poses conflict because the current faces of a certain political party that use religion to back their moral and political stances seem to be the same ones that have countlessly stood behind whoever pounded their chests the loudest in support of the deportation of illegal immigrants.

Again, this is relatively controversial when looking at what Republican poster boy, Ronald Reagan said back in 1981.

In a statement, Reagan said, “Our nation is a nation of immigrants. More than any other country, our strength comes from our own immigrant heritage and our capacity to welcome those from other lands. No free and prosperous nation can by itself accommodate all those who seek a better life or flee persecution…”

“We shall continue America’s tradition as a land that welcomes peoples from other countries. We shall also, with other countries, continue to share in the responsibility of welcoming and resettling those who flee oppression.”

However, the entire situation seems to be fueled by the toxicity of American superiority or even racism, which would not come as a surprise for most.

While most social issues in the news these days seem to be explicitly black or white, it is my opinion that it needs to be a non-partisan issue because when it comes down to the raw truth of immigration in the U.S.: We are arguing whether or not basic human rights shall be acknowledged in a country that was founded with the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.