Defend DACA

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

After a couple weeks of uncertainty, Trump has made the decision to end DACA. DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, protected hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth brought over to the US as children from being deported.

I've put off writing anything on my blog because I am surrounded by amazing people who are suffering from this reality first hand (I am not) and I admire them for being on the front lines. Anything I could offer would be inadequate and a little insulting I think. It's interesting, maybe natural, that I feel more comfortable writing about issues far from me when it should probably be the other way around. My blog isn't an actual platform with influence so the responsibility to express my outrage (express it here) is non existent.

I have a lot of emotions running through me, but to express them would be useless.
The issue at hand is so multifaceted that it's easy to spread false ideas. There are a few that come to mind- generalizing it solely as a Latin American issue when there are people from all over that have benefited from DACA. The majority -is- from Latin American countries, so I think that a focus is justified and the majority affected will be the majority acting. But, as the general public, remembering that it's others too is important. There are diverse experiences and being left out of the narrative would be alienating. Thoughts?
Another is the notion that all Dreamers are these ~wow~ super succesful productive ass members of society & THATS WHY they deserve protection. Despite the fact that so many are, they have the right to be here whether or not they're going to cure cancer or be the next CEO of a fortune 500 company (or that they're economic assets for that matter).
They are also pushing the idea that Dreamers are "innocent" and not at fault because they came here as children. Although they 100% had no say in the decision to come to this country, this inevitably criminalizes their parents and guardians who did make the choice. It brings us back to the "who deserves to be here and who doesn't" "who's a bad immigrant and who's a good one". I don't think anyone would say "I deserve to be here, but not my parents and others from my community."

The fact that Trump won't do anything, hopefully not negative but certainly not positive, about a greater immigration reform isn't shocking. But rescinding DACA is truly cruel and frankly, I am so disgusted. I don't see what is to gain from this. I know nobody wants my guilt, but its a strange feeling. That all of my friends and other young people in my community. . . there is literally no difference between us. A piece of paper? We've gone to the same schools, same extracurriculars, visited the same places, have had the same experiences. They have probably lived in GA longer than I have. It blows my mind that people think I am more deserving of being American than them. Or maybe they don't and it'll still blow my mind because I deserve to be here as much as any other White American (or maybe more because cough cough my ancestors have been here for millennia and America began drawing borders less than 250 yrs ago 😉 ).

Another reality to it, as my friend V shared with me (and I'm not eloquent enough so I will summarize) is that this is just another form of economic slavery. They are being treated as second class citizens, though they have been here since childhood and know this as their home, they're being stripped away from all forms of security. Higher education, higher paying jobs, just adding obstacles and hardships to keep this vulnerable population down. This can be extended to the cruel economic exploitation of undocumented immigrants in general, but we'll keep the conversation short (but remember that!).

For now, the "positive?" is that they're giving time a month to renew permits and people are still protected for at least six months if I have the facts correct. So please please if your status will expire by March 5th, you have one month to renew! Hopefully, with our action and perseverance, Congress will make the right decision.

"No one's DACA status will be revoked before it expires, administration officials said, and any applications already received by Tuesday will be processed. Anyone who's status expires by March % has one month to apply for a new two-year permit, and those applications will be processed. If Congress were not to act, and DACA begins to expire, nearly 300,000 people could begin to lose their status in 2018, and more than 320,000 would lose their status from January to August 2019. More than 200,000 recipients have their DACA expiring in the window that DHS will allow renewal." Source

*sigh* it still feels shitty to just write this post and be able to go back to security and peace of mind. it reminds me of why i've avoided writing anything on the topic. but it also reminds me that I haven't done enough in my position. I mentioned in my first sentence, that I admired my Dreamer friends for being on the front lines. It is because they are brave yes, but also because they, to a certain extent, don't have the choice not to act, this is their lives at stake. I, on the other hand, have the privilege to stay silent, but have a responsibility to speak and take action.
I will work hard to defend DACA so the next time I write, I can do so with confidence.

If You’re Outraged By Trump’s DACA Decision, Here’s How You Can Help Recipients Like Me

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