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To all the dreamers: you deserve a better life, too

Sep. 16, 2017
Avatar maria gonzalez escamilla writer.jpgf0196523 2c57 499d 8b24 abf4dcb8d585

Every morning I scroll through my social media timelines, and every morning I see the negative events going on within our country. I read of people’s stories, their anger, their fight to resist the cruelties of our government, and it does nothing but fuel me with the same desire to bring change. Absolutely nothing has prepared me for the immense fear my friends and family have been expressing over the last few months, let alone the downright panic I see them going through at the possibility of DACA being eliminated.   

Growing up, I’ve always known that my family’s struggle for citizenship was fueled by my parents’ desire to ensure a better life for their children. My family struggled for many years in the effort to obtain our citizenship to this country, and it was through this struggle that I learned we are not alone. Many families work day by day in an effort to become citizens of the U.S. Just like mine, other parents are fighting for their children in order to give them the opportunities they were not being granted back in their homeland.

via: InsideTheNation

DACA, which stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is essentially a work permit that is granted to young adults who were brought to the country as minors without citizenship. It grants the ability to work, go to school, and even join the military. The actual definition would state that these children entered the country as illegal immigrants, but it baffles me that a word with such a negative connotation would be used on people, let alone children, entering this country with the hopes of a better life.

Hearing about the decision to end DACA has caused me to feel great alarm for my loved ones and for other families I’ve never even met. I admit that, more than anything, I feel infuriated—infuriated that children and young adults who are only trying to strive for the better lives their parents wished them to have will be forced into halting their dreams. It makes no sense to me that a country which offers so many opportunities could be so cold to those looking to bring positive change into their lives.

via: Kyle Grillot | Reuters

Above all, this decision disregards the sheer beauty of having a dream for a better life. I know that the majority of these young people are looking to make their parents proud and to demonstrate to the world what they can accomplish regardless of their legal standing. DACA students/workers do not just receive this new life at no cost. It is work, it is pain, it is sometimes suffering, but above all it is hope. You’d never notice the difference between one worker versus another just because of their citizenship standing. The truth is that DACA workers are no different than any other workers. They pay their taxes and go to work/school. People covered under DACA do not receive any sort of financial aid for school, and such a program does not even aid them in obtaining citizenship. Although DACA could use improvements in aiding its workers, eliminating DACA will ruin the lives of people willing to reach for their dreams—and, by extension, it will ruin us as a country. The United States will greatly feel the loss of such amazingly hardworking souls.

Right and wrong, good and bad, legal and illegal: these are all things we slowly learn as we grow up. We learn to be kind, to share our toys, not to hurt others, not to steal, and so on. We learn about the dangers of the world, and we learn of the people meant to protect us; we also learn that we must protect others. Our need to protect our own people—whether they be our family, our friends, or even strangers—is strong within us. Although I can feel and understand the fear in DACA recipients, I can promise that many people—myself included—will go above and beyond to fight and resist the current President in an effort to ensure that all who enter this country and are willing to pursue the American Dream may do so. Everyone deserves the chance to work toward a better life.