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A decade of DACA. Where do we go from here?

Updated: Nov 21, 2022


Most people from a variety of political backgrounds can agree that people who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents, had no choice in the matter, and they deserve the chance to remain in the home where they have built their lives since childhood. These new generations of graduates who were not born in the U.S., but embody everything it is to be a diverse American, are the answer to the much-publicized labor shortages and much more. They will be the scientists and thinkers of tomorrow who will solve many problems that we see today. Instead of putting them on a pedestal, we are squandering their hopes at every turn. The constant uncertainty and the ever-present threat of deportation looming over these youth, is nothing short of emotional torture for DREAMERs and their families.

The Demographic of DREAMERs is Changing

Many of our DREAMERs have graduated college and are now at an age where marriage and children are the next step, and having to face an uncertain legal status with their children to worry about, adds an extra layer of urgency. With no path to citizenship, many DACA recipients are effectively made into second-class citizens, particularly in states where they’ve been permitted to work, but not collect on any public benefits generated by their work's contributions.

Instead of providing the pathway to citizenship, our dominant political parties have been using DACA and our DREAMERs as a consistent political ploy to drum up interest when their poll numbers are down. Even though the stats say a majority of Americans would agree to citizenship for DACA recipients, with caveats of course like no criminal record and a few requirements, the value of using DACA as a political ploy is obviously much more valuable to our politicians than it would be to just do what everyone has agreed to do and move on to other pressing issues like environmental degradation, school violence, and the list goes on.

What Can Be Done to Support Change

It's time to put our minds together, as the voting public, to think of how we can pressure Congress to make these changes. It definitely starts with voting and researching actions of those we have elected. Consider donating an amount each month, to organizations that work around the clock to ensure that these issues are front and center. There are many to choose from, but United We Dream and ACLU are at the forefront. Another thing I have found very rewarding is working with local high schools and community colleges, where students often hold educational workshops, fundraisers, and protests to guide the change for our DREAMERs. Ten years is enough, we will do better.

Stay in Touch With Attorney Yesenia

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