DREAMers are thriving: We must defend DACA now

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By Gema Hernandez

My name is Gema Hernandez. I am 22 years old, and a recent graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. My dream is to become an immigration attorney and advise undocumented students in the public higher education system, but my future is at risk.

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I was born in Jalisco, Mexico. My family and I migrated to the United States when I was four years old. In the fall of 2013, two years after my older brother was deported and separated from my family and his children, I was granted deportation relief through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive order issued by President Obama.

Because of this temporary provision, me and nearly 800,000 others protected under DACA have contributed to this country since it was signed in 2012. Because of DACA I have been able to travel abroad for educational purposes, work a full-time job, and become the first in my family to graduate from a University, without fear of wage-theft or deportation. We are teachers, scientists, small businesses owners, and students – building our lives, our families, and our communities. We are a part of the foundation of this country.

But we are not safe. President Trump and his Administration have shown outright contempt for the immigrant community living in this country. As an executive order, President Trump can repeal DACA at his discretion. If DACA was repealed, the livelihood of almost 800,000 recipients, including myself, and my loved ones would be affected.

Repeal of DACA is not a distant threat for us, but a very real possibility with measurable consequences.

What gives us hope in this fight is the Dream Act of 2017, a bi-partisan bill introduced on July 20, 2017 by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY). This bill would provide undocumented individuals who were brought to the United States at a young age with protection from deportation and a path to citizenship if they meet requirements regarding education, work, and background checks.

But until Congress acts with a strong legislative solution, we must #DefendDACA.

The time to protect DACA from being terminated is now. Please join us by taking the pledge to STAND WITH STUDENTS AND EDUCATORS TO SUPPORT DACA.

Reader Comments

  1. MarineBob – There is no such principle specifically written in the Constitution. By executive order President Trump COULD rescind the order signed by Obama. But to hold children illegal or not responsible for a crime their parents committed would cause an avalanche of blow back to a president already suffering negative approval numbers. These kids are American educated and assimilated. You need to live with it.

  2. MarineBob – The girl profiled in this article came here illegally but was only four years old when she arrived. She has been protected under DACA since 2012 and has demonstrated through her hard work that she would likely be a productive U.S. citizen if our government would simply provide her a path to do so. Why not give her that opportunity if this bi-partisan bill is passed?

    1. Because she was brought her illegally and I would wager we paid for her education while tax payers’ kids went without. Why not send her to her homeland where all her great ambition can be used to improve things there so more illegals do not come here?

      1. MarineBob – This girl is college educated and prepared to be a contributing member of U.S. society and we could now recoup our investment by the taxes she pays into the system. Instead after eighteen years of living here, you’re prepared to deport her w/o consideration and make it a true loss for our country. That’s pretty shortsighted, but typical of the nativist mentality of this administration.

        1. It is a very myopic view that our tax dollars ought to be supporting illegal activity with the plethora of problems plaguing this nation.

          1. MarineBob – This girl is not the responsible party for her illegal status and in her eighteen year stay has earned a university degree and been otherwise law-abiding. She and others in a similar position deserve the chance for full U.S. citizenship. What remains myopic is your attitude in opposing it. Or do you always take satisfaction in blaming a child for the sins of the parent?

            1. MarineBob – Right now DACA IS the law. It protects these children and will continue to do so as long as decent and compassionate people stand vigilant against its repeal. If you’re all about upholding a nation of laws, then where’s your respect?

            2. The only reason this so called dreamer act exists is because Mr Obama and his disgusting disregard for America decided that the Democratic Party could pull in more votes by attempting to legitimize illegal activity. Laws in a democratic republic ought to be the result of application of constitutional principles, not the whim of a never-should-have been elected, neighborhood organizer, racially motivated societal engineer experimenter.

              Illegal is illegal. This nation does not need people who are not willing to fight (and if necessary, die) for their own country. If a person comes here illegally, to escape what they do not like about their own nation, what logic says that are willing to preserve the constitutional concepts upon which this nation is suppose to operate? Illegal entry suggests such people have a disregard for laws.

              Kids of illegal entrants need to be considered to be here illegally.

              Why should tax payers have to support them? There are far too many unfulfilled needs n this country to worry about kids who were brought here illegally.

              Perhaps those who think illegal is ok could pay extra taxes to support these illegals. Those in favor of following the law can have their taxes reduced. Now that would make sense once it was rationally decided that illegal immigrants’ kids ought to be allowed to stay.

            3. MarineBob – So your dedication to a nation of laws has nothing to do with really upholding the law. It’s only about upholding those laws you like and support passed by people you apparently like and support. That’s hypocritical conservative BS.

            4. MarineBob – That’s nice. Cite for me the specific part that says DACA is unconstitutional.

            5. The president’s primary responsibility and accountability is to the legal citizens of this country and rational expense of tax dollars. To allow those who are here illegally, which is recognized by the policy (not a law) to stay without consequence, violates the principles presented in the constitution. What law allows these people to stay here? I mean other than Obama’s policy that panders to the Democratic base of bleeding heart liberals who probably do not pay a significant amount of tax dollars. Seems that if something like the dream(er) act is such a wonderful thing, it ought not to have taken 16 years of failed attempts to make it a law.

  3. Anyone here in an illegal status needs to be deported. They are here illegally, having violated the laws of this nation. Those wonderful dreamers ought to be willing to take their (very likely free, i.e. Taxpayer funded) education back to their homeland and drive improvements there, for their countrymen.

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