Is it DREAM deferred or a DREAM deterred?
You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one
“Imagine” John Lennon
When I wrote “Defend DACA; don’t rip away the dream” I hoped President Trump would prove us wrong and choose not to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program implemented during the Obama Administration, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. On September 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced DACA protections for undocumented youth who were brought to America as children by their parents would end and congress had six months to resolve the issue and pass legislation.
Following the announcement the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Department updated their website with the following:
- We are no longer accepting initial requests for DACA, but we will adjudicate initial requests for DACA accepted by Sept. 5, 2017.
- We will no longer approve advance parole requests associated with DACA.
- We are only adjudicating DACA renewal requests received by Oct. 5, 2017, from current beneficiaries whose benefits will expire between Sept. 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018.
Although people from the President Trump’s own party spoke out against rescinding DACA, it’s too little too late. The Dream Act would have offered a pathway to citizenship for ‘Dreamers’ but the legislation failed in the Senate after passing through the House. Some representatives said DACA was unconstitutional and an overreach of the executive branch of government, but what have they done since 2010, when The Dream Act failed to pass, to remedy this situation?
Republican Senator Marco Rubio tweeted, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me”; Matthew 25:35. Is that supposed to make the ‘Dreamers’ feel better? Is this supposed to bring them a sense of security? As I recall from history, the Ku Klux Klan and slave owners also quoted scripture. Those quoted scriptures did not make the oppressed feel as if their plight in life was okay or justified. We need representatives who are doing more than hiding behind scriptures and empathetic tweets; we need representatives who will get to work and pass legislation to protect the ‘Dreamers’ who are on the brink of deportation.
Now is the time to observe our elected officials to see if they are acting on our behalf, to see if they are getting work done. Save me the excuses about all the work you have to accomplish: passing a Harvey relief bill, raising the debt ceiling, etc. At the end of the day, we elected you to carry this load and get business done. Many of us want to “live as one” with the ‘Dreamers’ and if you are unable to protect them, we will remember this at the polls when you are up for re-election.