DACA Dreamers — The US-raised Youth Caught in Limbo as Border Debate Rages
Global headlines about the US-Mexico border crisis center on the loudest voices — the human rights groups expressing outrage over family separations, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calling detention facilities concentration camps, and President Donald Trump repeatedly referring to undocumented immigration as an “invasion”.
However, a second debate, usually occurring at lower volume, occasionally surfaces and becomes entangled with the arguments over asylum laws, undocumented workers and detention practices. At the center of this quieter (but no less contentious) dispute are the implications of a policy referred to as DACA, and the fate of a unique group of immigrants who have come to be known as the “Dreamers”.
In brief, Dreamers are undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as children; most were brought to the country by their parents. Many of them came to the US at a young enough age that they speak English as their primary language, and speak it with a US accent. And as one of them demonstrated with a viral video of his high school graduation valedictory speech, they are far from the image of undocumented migrants as rapists and drug dealers put forth by Trump:
A generation caught between the lines
As The Millennial Source previously reported, although the US public is deeply divided over immigration issues, a strong majority of citizens oppose both family separation and widespread deportation of migrants who were brought to the US as children. After legislative attempts to permanently protect Dreamers from these fates failed, the Obama Administration created DACA as a stopgap measure. However, the policy does nothing to resolve Dreamers’ long-term status.
The question of what will become of Dreamers now highlights the historical crossroads at which the US finds itself with respect to the treatment of both…