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Humanitarian crisis at the border draws criticism of 'dreamers'

One of the hot button issues of recent weeks has been the sudden influx of unaccompanied children entering the United States. As a result, thousands of them are being left at the US-Mexico border, causing a massive humanitarian crisis and prompting a major debate about our immigration policies.

While this is a critical issue that warrants a lot of discussion, we bring up this issue to talk about something slightly different: the "Dreamers" who are here in the U.S. thanks to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Known more simply as "deferred action," this program allows people who were illegally brought into the country as children to obtain some temporary protections against immigration prosecution and detention. The people who obtain deferred action are often called "Dreamers."

The dream they chase is citizenship -- and yet now they face more criticism because of the humanitarian crisis at the border. People are criticizing programs such as DACA for essentially emboldening people in other countries to try to send their kids to the U.S. with the ultimate hope of obtaining citizenship -- even though they almost certainly won't obtain it that way.

However, this is a false equivalency. The "Dreamers" went about their immigration process appropriately because their entrance into the country was deemed okay by the confines of the DACA law. In reality, they likely had no say in the matter. They have since been raised in America and want nothing more than to call it their home country.

The Dreamers' fight will continue until our immigration policy is revised to better reflect the current conditions of our country and the world.

Source: Multi-American, "Their program under attack, Dreamers fight back," Josie Huang, July 1, 2014

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  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber