This past July 16, Federal Court Judge S. Andrew Hanen in Texas ruled that President Obama had exceeded his authority in issuing an executive memorandum to establish the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2012. So again, the 1.7 million Dreamers are in limbo as they have been so many times in the past.
When I was same age as many of the DACA eligible children that arrived in the United States with their undocumented parents, I was in Elementary school and no doubt had the same type of dreams as they did. I also did not know English as was common among migrant Latino farm worker families. I recall that the elementary school year included a day when the homeroom teacher would go around the class and ask students what they would like to do with their lives when they grew up. The answers were varie, but appeared to reflect some of the experience of their parents in the students’ own dreams of the future. Since my parents came from mostly farm worker families there was an opportunity to expand some of that into my future. Also, I played musical instruments in church since I was 6 and something along those lines could have been part of what I might have been looking forward to when I grew up.
Yet I had this repetitive notion especially, in my 3rd, 4th and 5th grades, that I wanted to go to college and at the same time learn to be a pilot. The other kids in the classroom knew this and made fun of me every time I started to relate my dream.
Incidentally, the year I graduated from college I also soloed in a Cessna 150 aircraft from the Greeley, Colorado airport. I filled out several log books before taking my last flight as a pilot 8 years later from the Las Vegas, New Mexico airport.
This came to mind when I considered the plight of the Dreamers who came in their early childhood from abroad and who know no other life but that of an American in America. They have a very simple desire and that is to be allowed to live, study, work, further the greatness of this country as well as achieve the American Dream.
The United States describes itself as an immigrant country with important traditions bolstered by the notion that immigrants and their dedication to hard work have historically been the foundation of positive and dynamic social and economic change. The work ethic is alive and well thanks to immigrants that see this opportunity as the best reason to leave their country and make the dangerous journey to come to ours.
Latino immigration to the United States has been has been an increasing phenomenon since the Mexico Revolution of 1910. Over the last half of the 20th Century they became the primary focus of legislators and policy makers with mixed results.
The highlight of that period was President Ronald Reagan’s 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act that allowed 2.7 million mainly undocumented Latinos access to residency and citizenship status. This also represented a recognition that immigration now had an American of color face rather than European.
It is principally this evolution that has garnered opposition to continued immigration. Yet America needs immigrants more than ever, especially as China is challenging for economic leadership of the world.
Dreamers are an ideal economic asset for the United States as they are from families with an immigrant zeal for achievement.