July 20, 2019

Parents Are Dreamers Too: Changing the Conversation About Immigration

posted on: Thursday September 28, 2017

A family protesting the rescission of the DACA program.

A family protesting the rescission of the DACA program. (Photo Courtesy of Citizen Path)

by Hannah Paxton ’19

Asst. Opinion Editor

Picture the student who sits next to you in the back of the classroom who you might not know very well. This student has a story to tell. This student had a gap in their resume until 2012, and  then they worked at a food truck. They have not seen their grandmother for years because she lives in another country. They were granted a scholarship for half of their tuition, but are still at a loss as for how to pay tens of thousands of dollars.

This student is much like Javier Juarez, a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and graduate of Brown University who spoke at the DACA Panel last Thursday, September 21. With the institution of DACA, Juarez was able to obtain a college education, but now that President Trump has rescinded the program, he may not be able to achieve his dream of attending Harvard Law School.

Many would agree that this is unfair, and that any young man or woman should have the opportunity to follow his or her dreams. They think it is the parents’ fault. They are the ones who should be blamed for illegally crossing the U.S. border. They are the ones who need to be punished, not their children.

But this is a dangerous thought, one that exhibits ignorance and impudence. To say that undocumented immigrants are committing a crime but that their children are faultless demonstrates an inconsistency in opinion. Children and parents alike come into the U.S. from various countries to find an improved life, so if kids do not deserve to be punished then why do their parents?

We say that these men and women are dreamers, striving for success in the U.S. However, once the parents are in the picture, they are deemed illegal felons. When this issue was posed to the panelists, Juarez said, “I’m here because of my parents. They are the original dreamers.”

In discussion and criticism, many do not understand the reality that undocumented immigrants face. Attorney Andrew Rogers told students at the panel that to “get in line the legal way” is to wait 29 years. For most families, 29 years is not nearly soon enough for them to seek new opportunities.

When we call undocumented immigrants criminals, what are we really condemning them for? Is it so wrong for them to want a better life, not just for themselves, but for their families as well?

Criminalizing parents is unjustified when they are the ones who brought these young dreamers to the U.S. in the first place. Since thousands of immigrants are now employed, up to 70,000 of the country’s jobs could be lost if they are deported.

These immigrants are people who are contributing to our society in ways we might not even realize.

They come from many walks of life and places around the world, but they are not so different from us. They are our peers, co-workers, friends, families. As President Obama once said, “They are Americans…in every single way except one—on paper.”

2 thoughts on “Parents Are Dreamers Too: Changing the Conversation About Immigration

  • Bob says:

    The parents of dreamers are the criminals that brought them here and endangered their lives in the process regardless of the situation in their home countries they should be looked at as criminals and nothing more

  • Mira says:

    What the taxpayers have paid because of illegal immigration is the real crime.What I find most interesting is the all out BLITZ by the Democrats, MSM, every faculty member at any university in the country fighting to the death for illegal aliens? yes they put a warm and fuzzy name on it “Dreamers.” and no one seem to wonder why? future voters? can you imagine the Democrats ever being this interested or motivated in issues involving citizens! There is an estimated 800,000 DACA recipients in the US. That is 800,000 jobs American Citizens don’t have or will be in competition for.

    The MSM and Democrats would have us believe that all 800 thousand are not taking jobs Americans want (we’ve heard that lie for many years now.) This is another falsehood told to the American people. Democrats have actually changed the language. It’s not illegal alien its “Immigrant.” (like the lie there just ‘Kids”) there not all picking strawberries they take great Jobs. Good enough jobs to buy homes put their kids through college.

    Why must the citizens have competition for jobs, education in their own country from foreign nationals? Now Democrats and illegal alien activists admit DACA recipients have great jobs,are buying homes, paying taxes. The GOAL, motivation (Democrats just haven’t figured this out yet) is for the American citizens to be employed, sending their kids to college, buying homes and paying taxes. It’s not the responsibility of the citizens of this country to support, educate citizens from other country’s.Deportation will save jobs and decrease the expense of illegal aliens. There is also an incredible public safety issues.

    “Some” of the costs of illegal immigration.

    * The cost of educating illegal aliens children is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers $122,000 for EACH illegal alien. That is not even counting the FREE school lunches every day for 13 years.

    * Now city, and state officials are appropriating millions of taxpayer dollars for legal fees to to file law suits and in defense of illegal aliens being deported.

    *2012 illegal aliens sent home $62 BILLION in remittances back to their countries of origin. This is why Mexico is getting involved in our politics.

    *30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens. Does not include local jails and State Prisons. At 21,000 per year expense per inmate in Federal Prison—U do the math.

    *$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens, I repeat 3 MILLION a DAY to process Illegals in the Criminal justice system.

    *$2.2Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps),WIC, & free school lunches.
    Eunice on September 27, 2017 at 5:50 PM · Report this
    2
    “We’re waking up to a world that we were not promised. This isn’t what we thought it would be…”

    You were not promised anything. And though your parents told you you were amazing and special, and anything was possible – you’re not and it’s not. Good for you for organizing, but heres a tip: roll up that Mexican Flag and march with the stars and stripes. If you want to be an American, act like it.

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