The announcement on DACA has rightfully caused outrage. Whether it’s a limitation or full repeal of DACA— the administration was frustratingly vague— it is unacceptable move that wrongfully punishes children and young adults who were brought to the US and know no other life. It is a useless, pointless targeting of vulnerable people. So many people are angry, but, as so often happens, Obama has voiced it best.
“This is about young people who grew up in America — kids who study in our schools, young adults who are starting careers, patriots who pledge allegiance to our flag,” he said in a statement. “These Dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper. They were brought to this country by their parents, sometimes even as infants. They may not know a country besides ours. They may not even know a language besides English. They often have no idea they’re undocumented until they apply for a job, or college, or a driver’s license… To target these young people is wrong — because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating — because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel. What if our kid’s science teacher, or our friendly neighbor turns out to be a Dreamer? Where are we supposed to send her? To a country she doesn’t know or remember, with a language she may not even speak?”
I’d almost forgotten what it sounds like to hear your President show empathy. You can hear the whole statement here.
Understanding the need to protect and empower our immigrant population, why immigration and diversity make us stronger, and just showing some damn compassion— these are the qualities of a President. “Ultimately, this is about basic decency,” he says. “This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated. It’s about who we are as a people — and who we want to be.” If only our current President understood that.