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The U.S. message to the Dreamers

The end of DACA and the uncertainty of thousands
Protesters - File photo/REUTERS
06/09/2017
09:00
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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They didn't ask to live in the United States, nevertheless, they set foot in that land since they were 3 or 4 years old. They arrived without papers because their parents were seeking for a better quality of life. They come from all around the world, yet Mexicans are the majority in that community.

They have gone to American schools, their favorite sports teams are American. Many still adhere to the traditions of their parents, but they have fully immersed themselves in the American culture. Most have never returned to their country of origin. Former American President Barack Obama has described them as Americans “in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper.”

Two years ago, they were brought out of the shadows by the DACA policy, which offered temporary residence permits to the individuals under 16 brought illegally into the U.S. It' wasn't free. They paid almost 500 American dollars for the permit. Yesterday, the Donald Trump administration set a deadline for the program: six months. Once this window of time expires, the American Congress will have to prepare a new law to replace DACA.

Uncertainty has returned to the thousands of young people in this situation. Will Republican and Democratic legislators finally agree on immigration issues after so many years of evasion? Will they have the capacity to understand that deportation – especially for this sector of the population – is not the right answer?

The so-called Dreamers aren't alone; they have the support of universities and technology CEOsMicrosoft Micrsoft, Apple, and Facebook, which have highlighted the importance these young people have on global competitiveness.

This decision gives the impression the American Government is going against one of it's founding principles. They seem to forget their nation was born over a century ago from the Irish, German, Polish and Italian immigrants, and that in recent years they have received immigration waves from Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

For the thousands of people affected by the DACA, the United States of America has been the only home they've ever known, they contribute to the wealth of the nation, they study, they have honest jobs, and due to the nature of their status, they try to behave according to the laws of the nation. Since the moment they arrived, they have done nothing wrong; they have given their all to a country they feel they belong to, and their commitment shouldn't be returned with a slap in the face. It seems once more, Trump is sending out the wrong message.

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