To talk about Dreamers, to talk about DACA, I must talk about their families, parents, and supporters. To talk about Dreamers is to talk about butterflies…that migrate in groups…that represent beauty and fluidity that I hope each of us can be more like when we talk about DACA, Dreamers, and their families and supporters.
In 2012, the news broke out that President Obama had announced new policies surrounding young immigrants in the U.S. As soon as I heard the news, I called my mom. I told her, “Creo que tia y mis primos van a poder arreglar!” She turned on the news and immediately ended my call and called my aunt in Texas. A sense of relief was taken off. For the first time since their arrival in the early 2000’s they would be able to come out of the shadows. DACA allowed for 800,000 dreamers to come out of the shadows.
The shadows they had to live in because of lack of opportunity, of education, of resources in their home countries…in my aunt’s case, Mexico.
My aunt as many others left out of love for their family and children. They didn’t leave because they wanted to live a life full of anxiety and fear, they left knowing living in the shadows could one day mean more success not for them but perhaps for their children.
My challenge to you when you’re engaging in rhetoric surrounding dreamers and DACA is to know you’re talking about more than that sole DACA participant—you’re talking about their families too. We often use rhetoric like “these children didn’t do anything” “they’re not at fault, they’re guilty of nothing” I get it…but who are we demonizing when we say those sound bites…their parents and families. We imply some moral guilt on these parents and supporters when even ourselves, those with privilege to move freely do so from state to state- country to country without having to think twice. We are guilty of complicity in not doing enough to not only protect dreamers but not protecting their families.
The only people who should feel a sense of guilt is our supposed leaders…and ourselves for we failed to provide when we could have many years ago.
To the students I’ve gotten to know…to the Dreamers—the level of grit, love, and determination you, your families have shown and continue to show is the privilege of my life. Your dreams of college success, careers, the betterment of not only yourself, but those most pushed aside and ignored is your life, but know that for you parents, families, and supporters you are their dreams come to life. You are their wildest dreams they had coming to the U.S. of their children come alive.