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The stolen dreams of the US’s Dreamers

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive order issued by former president Barack Obama, passed its tenth anniversary amid postponements and threats.


DACA rally. Photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen / Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons License.

The initiative was launched by the White House to grant work permits and provide protection from deportation to thousands of undocumented young people who arrived before 2007.

In subsequent years, Congress did not regulate by law what would be part of a lengthy immigration reform, since the last one was approved under the government of the Republican Ronald Reagan in 1986, in other words, in November it will be 36 years since the legislative power expressed itself on this topic.

The Dreamers are the 2.1 million young people who are undocumented or lacking legal immigration status who arrived in the United States as children. Currently, approximately one million of them benefit from the deferred action established by Obama on 15th June 2012, but what will become of the others is a question for experts and community activists today.

Recently, during an exclusionary Summit of the Americas, the White House and 19 countries signed a plan against illegal immigration but, like many things included at this limited forum, it is just promises that will be difficult to implement, even more so given the political polarisation in the United States.

Analysts consider that President Joe Biden’s government is trying to stop illegal immigration in three ways: by offering more opportunities, granting asylum to more people and strengthening borders; whether or not it achieves this is doubtful.

Elsewhere, recent analysis by Maribel Hastings and David Torres of “America’s Voice” and published in the Los Angeles newspaper “La Opinion”, looked at the problem the so-called “Dreamers” face.

A decade on, DACA is facing many legal obstacles and, in fact, a court ruling limits it to renewing permits and not accepting new applications, add the experts. Around 100,000 young people will graduate from high school this year without the possibility of obtaining a work permit, a situation that complicates their immediate reality, that of their families and that of their neighbourhoods.

In their general analysis on this anniversary of DACA, Hastings and Torres state that there is no sensitivity in Congress.

A thousand studies are quoted on the benefits to the country of legalising the undocumented workforce; there are laments because the so-called “Dreamers” are still not legalised and because the temporary protection they received a decade ago is at the mercy of the courts, they claim.

The research highlights “that even the hands that pick and process our food products, the agricultural workers, do not have documentation, on the whole”.

Republicans go to the border to make a song and dance about the “crisis” there, claiming that we are being “invaded”, but they are the first to block bills attempting to reform the laws on immigration in their various guises: border, asylum, undocumented people, among others, said the experts.

These positions promote the anti-immigrant agenda and set the United States back decades in civil rights, making minorities invisible again, especially immigrants of African descent.

But the “Dreamers” have something in their favour, they contribute over 40,000 million dollars per year to the Gross Domestic Product, something which translates as almost six times more than the 7,000 million dollars that DACA costs the United States. (PL)

(Translated by Philip Walker – Email philipwalkertranslation@gmail) – Photos: Pixabay

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