By Gary Hardie
“I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
Immigrants, parents of DACA recipients, came here yearning for the promises America was founded upon: the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They responded to the call and beacon of hope found in the American dream. They sought to remove whatever barriers lay in the path to the future of their children and families.
Our immigration laws are unjustly unfair to immigrants who should benefit from a clear, realistic, and affordable pathway to citizenship. The current process is too expensive, complicated and out of reach for most immigrants.
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a program created with humanity in mind, knowing the children of undocumented parents had no say in why or how they were brought to this country. Their parents risked their lives to bring them here, often fleeing war, violence and extreme levels of poverty to give them a chance at a better life and future. Since being brought to America, Dreamers have honored the sacrifices of their parents by being model citizens, leaders in their communities and in their fields. They are what makes America great.
We call them Dreamers, not just because it’s a clever phrase. They’re Dreamers because they work and study, humbly and with no sense of entitlement, to EARN their stake in the American dream. Some have fought and died defending the freedoms this country should afford them. They don’t draw attention to themselves; they go about their days doing the best they can to defeat whatever odds are stacked against them and their families. With dreams and goals in mind, feeling the full weight of being the first generation to complete high school, attend college, buy a home, hold a job with salary and benefits, they strive to embody the dreams their parents had for them.
DACA is intentionally cruel to these Americans who make our country great, many of which I have worked with or have attended school with; we owe it to them to #defendDACA on their behalf. America is their home; America is their country. To those cruel masses of people chanting, “Send them home!” They are home! To say otherwise is inhumane and un-American as they know no other place than America as home.
If Trump feels the need to end something today, it should be his presidency, not DACA.