If Trump ends the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and there is no replacement, the US will actively, knowingly, and heartlessly contribute Dreamers to the world refugee population. US refugees. Ugh. Sit with that.
Remember being a child and taking a trip with your parents? For me, the most memorable trips were the hot, sweaty pre-air-conditioning, pre-everybody-has-a-seat-and-is-buckled-up, pre-don’t-throw-garbage-out-the-window-the-windows-are-always-open rides. (Ditches looked like trash dumps on busy roads.)
And pre-teen I do not recall being given a choice to ‘stay’ while the rest of the family ‘went’. Proper travel comportment was expected. We were not allowed to throw garbage out the window. Sometimes we threw things just to see how they’d fly, to see if we’d get noticed and yelled at. Yes, we were naughty. But I do not recall having choice in the wheres or whens of a trip. You got in that car when you were told and you were happy to go along for the ride. With younger siblings and a dog, it was always an adventure.
Dreamers are adults brought to destination USA to live when they were children. Emphasis is on brought. They had no choice. No choice. And I’m thinking their trips weren’t pretty like the ones I remember.
And unlike Dreamers, my parents always returned us home. And home can be a place, a feeling, a place to pass on a game board, ‘Go’.
Or just a word.
Once here, Dreamers didn’t get to go back to ‘home’, back to ‘Go’. Home became, and is, the USA. The DACA program appeared to be a pathway to citizenship to officially have a home — the place, the feeling. Not a pass around ‘Go’ on a game board, not just a word.
And so today I consider the sadness in the potential for creation of a whole new set of refugees. A ‘displaced person is a “person who is forced to leave their home country because of war, persecution, or natural disaster; a refugee”.
I submit a new category of refugee — “misplaced person.” A misplaced person is a “a person who is forced from their home country because their home country does not allow children brought here to set down roots; a globe refugee.¹”
¹Globe refugee: Refugees with no country, no terra firma to call home.
Another Viva construction! I assume that the set of Dreamers includes children who were not counted as part of the population in the country they were born before they arrived here. And if the US doesn’t acknowledge that they have standing, these Dreamers are refugees of the globe, the Earth. Born here on Earth. They have nowhere to go.
Or as Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions, III says “illegal aliens”. Ugh.
In looking into what it means to be a Dreamer, it takes a lot of effort to register. Approximately 800,000 individuals have gone through the process in the hopes of legitimizing their residency, establishing citizenship. They are educated. They have “good moral character.” They start businesses. They pay taxes. (Wikipedia: Dream Act. I wonder if I’d could do it if I had to … )
Estimates of $60B to deport the Dreamers. But let’s be clear on what we are losing, on what we are telling the rest of the world about the good ol’ US of A. We can’t make a way, make an exception for immigrant children-grown-to-adulthood, we will deport educated, hard-working, contributing members of society to destinations where they they may have no family, they may not speak the language, they may be recognized as nothing other than US refugees.
And then there are the Dreamers with children born in the US. Let’s demolish families.
However misguided and misplaced, I’m hoping in 6-months this is old news; there is a replacement plan in place for DACA; and the US hasn’t added refugees to the global refugee crisis:population.
My hope is down but the timer starts now.