‘Dreamers’ are America’s investment in its present and future

If America’s DACA youth get deported as a result of current politics in Washington, it will be at our own peril.

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Immigration Advocates Rally On 10th Anniversary Of DACA Policy

Immigration advocates rally to urge Congress to pass permanent protections for DACA recipients and create a pathway to citizenship on June 15 near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Immigrants have directly contributed to our nation’s collective success, including the thousands of talented Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipients in such fields as medicine, engineering, business, science and the arts. Among today’s “Dreamers” it is possible to identify present and future architects, engineers, social workers, lawyers, doctors, artists, scientists and business executives. 

Unfortunately, the American success stories of young, undocumented immigrants who grew up socially and culturally in the United States have not been acknowledged by a substantial number of Republicans in Congress. Tragically, as a result of Republican indifference to the constant fear of deportation, detention and family separation felt by these America-nurtured visionaries, the deportation clock of “Dreamers” is still ticking.

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If DACA youth are deported as a result of current politics in Washington, it will be at our own peril. In addition to the unequivocal social and community harm of state-sanctioned separation of families, ultimately we run the risk of treating a highly talented sector of society as disposable.

Today’s “Dreamers” and the multiple communities to which they belong represent America’s collective investment in its present and its future. 

Legalization should be given to “Dreamers,” a profoundly vibrant sector of our current and future leaders. A path to citizenship will continue to strengthen not only the well-being of our communities, but also American socio-economic competitiveness

My first vote, as a young 22-year-old naturalized American citizen, in a presidential campaign 10 years after I arrived here as a child, went to President Ronald Reagan in 1984. And it was Reagan who in 1986 signed into law the last comprehensive immigration reform our country has had in almost 40 years: the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

Let us all keep in mind Reagan’s words of wisdom from that memorable day, words that still perfectly apply to today’s “Dreamers”: “The legalization provisions in this act will go far to improve the lives of a class of individuals who now must hide in the shadows, without access to many of the benefits of a free and open society. ... Our objective is only to establish a reasonable, fair, orderly and secure system of immigration into this country and not to discriminate in any way against particular nations or people.”

Alejandro Lugo, former professor of anthropology and Latina/Latino Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,Park Forest

Ban the bullies

Those students involved with the bullying of a student with Down syndrome at York Community High School in Elmhurst should be identified, charged and expelled from the school. Those involved circulated the video of this criminal mob action so they have no right to anonymity.

If their parents try to claim they don’t know where their children learned this behavior, tell them to look in the mirror. If they cry that prosecuting them could hurt their future prospects, tell them their children’s violent criminal actions are what hurt their future prospects.

Charles Carlson, Belmont-Cragin

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