Immigrants came here to start over, to build a new life away from gangs and drug violence and corrupt governments. They brought their children, or just sent their children in their place, sacrificing themselves for the sake of the next generation. It’s the kind of thing most parents would do – make life better for their progeny.
For years, we’ve struggled with how to address the “problem” of child immigrants. President Obama, frustrated with Congress’ inability to pass DREAMER legislation protecting these kids, created DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), an executive order allowing undocumented immigrants who came here as children prior to June 2007 and under the age of 16 when they arrived.
President Trump promised to eliminate DACA and now has done so. Okay. Now what? He passed responsibility to Congress, which should have addressed the matter while Obama was President, if not before.
The hardliners say, “Keep the immigrants out. They’re taking our jobs and threatening our culture.” But what they fail to understand is that these children/young adults are necessary for the healthy growth of our country. They study and work, learning our language and culture, eventually getting the opportunity to apply for citizenship. They’re people committed to our nation. And now they’re being discarded or at least played for political purposes.
What the Dreamers are really doing is assimilating into our culture, creating a fusion of their homeland and our country, blending together the best parts of both into a mixture that has more flavor, more strength than the homogenous white Protestant culture their opponents wish to continue.
By trying to strengthen our country, these anti-immigrant forces are actually weakening it, exposing its character flaws, its insecurities. The folks who want to keep out the foreigners are descended from foreigners themselves – Irish or German or English or Austrian or Polish or Norwegian or French.
All those immigrants eventually blended into our country, just as these new immigrants are doing. But fear rules. Change hits some of us harder than others. With every major change there are winners and losers. So yes, some people will lose their jobs. And yes, our culture will change, at least a little.
But that’s the natural order. Change is inevitable. The more we fight it, the more it will hurt when it arrives.
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