"DREAMERs are children who were brought to this country at a young age, with no choice in the matter, and are simply asking for the ability to continue studying, working and defending our country…They are Americans in virtually every sense of the word and they deserve the ability to pursue the American Dream." - Jorge Elorza
As Trump gets ready to announce his infamous decision to end the DACA program, the Huffington Post publishes the story of one Dreamer Trump will not be able to kick out of what has become his home, his country.
Trump will not deport Alonso Guillen, who came to the U.S. from Mexico as a child, because Guillen died last Wednesday when his boat capsized while he and two friends were rescuing survivors of the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area.
The Huffington Post:
Family members recovered his body on Sunday from a creek in Spring, Texas, according to The Houston Chronicle — just hours before reports emerged that President Donald Trump will end the program that shielded Guillen and others like him — so-called Dreamers — from deportation.
Guillen, a 31-year-old disc jockey who came to Texas from Mexico as a teenager, never became a U.S. citizen. But he had a work permit and protection from immediate deportation as part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — DACA — that then-President Barack Obama established in 2012.
His father, a legal permanent resident, wept on the sandy banks of Cypress Creek on Sunday as his son’s body was pulled from the water
His mother, Rita Ruiz de Guillen, who lives in Piedras Negras, Mexico, told the Houston Chronicle that “U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials denied her entry at the border, despite her pleas for a temporary visa to come to Texas for her son’s burial,” according to the Huffington Post.
But the Post updates the story with a statement that the agency has “offered to work with the Mexican Consulate and non-governmental agencies” to allow her entry “in order to attend her son’s funeral.”
The agency also offered its condolences to Alonso Guillen’s family, the Post adds.
Mr. Trump, when you announce your odious decision under thunderous applause from your base, perhaps you can say a kind word or two about the accomplishments, and sacrifices, of these Dreamers you are unceremoniously kicking out of their home — perhaps even say a prayer for Guillen?
According to Politico.com, Fox News and other sources, the “we love everybody” president has decided to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, “an Obama-era program that allowed undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children stay and contribute to the country.”
It is a decision likely to “ignite a political firestorm — and fulfill one of the president’s core campaign promises.”
According to a report from the Center for American Progress and FWD.us, ending DACA will have a massive economic impact.
The report said 91 percent of DACA recipients are employed and removing them from the work force would put 700,000 people out of jobs. For all those who would lose their jobs, it would cost $3.4 billion to replace them.
It is also reported that enforcement of the president’s decision will be delayed for six months to give Congress time to act.
The debate on the President’s intentions to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has become very emotional, intensive – even among “peaceable persons.”
One just needs to browse the comments on a recent piece at The Moderate Voice describing the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ plea to the President to “continue the program and allow young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to continue to live, work and study in the U.S. and contribute to the nation’s economy.”
In the article, the Providence, RI’s mayor, Jorge Elorza, is quoted as saying:
Ending the DACA program, would be morally and politically wrong. DREAMERs are children who were brought to this country at a young age, with no choice in the matter, and are simply asking for the ability to continue studying, working and defending our country…They are Americans in virtually every sense of the word and they deserve the ability to pursue the American Dream.
But back to the comments.
This author, who is generally very peaceful, posted some “passionate” comments about these young “DREAMERs,” perhaps because the author himself was a young immigrant dreamer.
One or two readers called upon the author to “tone it down,” to stop pretending to be a moderator.
Perhaps they are right. If my comments came across as such, I apologize.
My intent was merely to show how strongly I feel about this issue.
Anyhow, this morning I read a great piece on the subject by another “peaceable person.”
It is a New York Times, Sunday Review, Opinion piece by Maeve Higgins, the author of “Off You Go: Away From Home and Loving It. Sort Of” and the host of the podcast “Maeve in America.”
In “Stephen Miller Is the Enemy of My Dreams,” Higgins explains that while – as a “peaceable person” — she generally avoids conflict, she feels that “[e]very heroine must have an opponent who makes her better, stronger, nimbler than before.”
So, Higgins closed her eyes recently looking for “who’s bothering” her, someone who would meet her checklist of “pet hates”:
…ones that have bloomed so abundant in this country of late, namely racism, the demonizing of immigrants, and white people lashing out at progress because they somehow feel victimized by it.
And lo and behold, the “phantasm” that emerges is none other than Stephen Miller, one of President Trump’s senior advisers. The same man about whose “intemperate words” a few weeks ago, this author said “[they] cannot and will not separate those sacred words from the Statue. They will not dim the flame of Her torch nor diminish the power of those words, for they represent true, lasting American values.”
However, Higgins says it much better:
More recently, you could catch [Mr. Miller] haughtily disrespecting the Statue of Liberty and, it seems likely, hastening the end of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the most humane and sensible piece of immigration reform in decades. He wears skinny ties. He has a loud voice and quiet eyes. His obsession is immigration and how scary immigrants are. He blames us for everything.
Higgins, an immigrant herself, rebuts what are the most commonly used distractions by those who are anti-immigrants:
This country has practically militarized borders, but Mr. Miller insists that “uncontrolled migration” is responsible for plummeting wages and overcrowded schools. He skips over the fact that migration is strictly controlled, technology has taken jobs away from Americans far more than immigrants have, overcrowding in schools is caused by a plethora of factors, and crime rates are lower among immigrants than among people born here. Like his boss’s, his lies are so brazen it’s almost impressive.
Mr. Miller seems to enjoy animosity, so perhaps I shouldn’t give him what he craves. I remind myself that he was once a chubby little baby, with balled-up fists, looking out from his stroller at lights and shadows. Even today, he’s really just a guy in a little suit he has chosen so carefully that it breaks my heart. I wonder why he wants everyone to speak English all the time — did his parents force him to watch too much “Dora the Explorer”? I wonder how he squares his great-grandparents’ fleeing Belarus, running for their lives to America, with his repeated attempts to shut out the equivalent families of today.
Recently I’ve been following the social media hashtag #undocujoy. It’s a space where undocumented immigrants show up smiling, celebrating birthdays and graduations, despite the fear instilled by this administration. I scroll through the images and I’m delighted. “Miller would really hate this,” I think.
I’d much rather he wasn’t in the White House, but having him as my enemy gives me clarity. While he’s over there, destroying, I’ll be right here, creating. The math on how best to live is simple now. We need to protect one another and value each person equally, and anyone working against that? Well, he will have to face me.
This author,too, hopes he can continue to express his views on valuing each person equally, without making unnecessary enemies.
Lead photo: Lance Cpl. José Gutierrez, who entered the U.S.illegally and was the first — or one of the first — “American” servicemen to give his life in the Iraq War.
Copyright 2017 The Moderate Voice