Read a Dreamer’s Open Letter to Donald Trump Explaining Why DACA Must Stay

by Gabe Ortiz –

Since its implementation five years ago, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has helped 800,000 undocumented youth achieve their dreams. Because of DACA, immigrant youth may work legally, apply for driver’s licenses, and live free from the fear of deportation. In other words: they can live normal lives. They are parents, neighbors, friends, leaders, professionals, and spouses. They are American in every single way but for a piece of paper. So when the Trump administration threatens to kill the program, the government is threatening to cast away young people deeply intertwined into the fabric of America.

In an open letter to Donald Trump, DACA recipient Juan Escalante, a Florida State University graduate and immigrant rights leader with America’s Voice, explains why DACA must stay:

That freedom that young undocumented immigrants have enjoyed for the past five years has yielded significant gains for the United States. Thanks to DACA young immigrants have been able to pursue higher education, have started their own business, while others continue to work and contribute back to their communities. All of these young people are aspiring Americans, who are working day and night to ensure that they make use of their temporary deportation protection to give back to, not take from, the country they call home.

Ending DACA means disrupting the lives of almost a million people. Some of these young people may be your critics, myself included. Others may be working on their degrees or helping create jobs for American citizens. However, the truth is that, politics aside, all of them want to give back to this great country.

Mr. President, just as your parents wanted you to succeed, and just as you want your children to succeed, my parents took a great risk for my future. It’s what families do. My family and I do not have a pathway towards citizenship, not today, tomorrow, or ever. That is why DACA is so important.

“DACA beneficiaries, often known as Dreamers, enrich this country with their talents, culture, and determination,” Escalante continues. “All they want is for you to allow them to work and study without using them as targets for deportation or prey for the white supremacists who wish to see them sent back to a country that they do not know.” Read the rest of Escalante’s letter to Donald Trump here. To help defend Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and the 800,000 immigrant youth who have benefitted from the program, visit DefendDACA.com today.

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos