HENRY CHAVEZ ’18
Less than two weeks ago, President Trump moved to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama-era program commonly known as DACA. Both DACA and the DREAM act give nearly a million young adults, undocumented through no fault of their own, a chance to work, receive an education, and chase the American Dream. President Trump and Attorney General Sessions said in statements that the program “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs”, and that the program needed to be ended out of concern for “the millions of Americans victimized by this unfair system”. The President and Attorney General could not be further off base, with even Former President Obama chiming in, calling the decision “wrong,” “self defeating,” and “cruel.”
I think that it’s really important for everyone to know that Dreamers are your peers, your TAs, your RAs, your student athletes, your fraternity and sorority brothers and sisters, they can be anyone on this campus. We were brought here when we were really young by circumstances out of our control. Dreamers are people that have come to call the United States their home, America is all they know. I came to the U.S. when I was two and a half as a refugee from El Salvador. There’s this saying in Spanish that goes “Noy soy de aqui, no soy de alla” or “I’m not from here, but I’m not from there.” This saying captures the displacement that we feel: I don’t call El Salvador my home, home for me has always been Boston.
At the end of the day, Dreamers are people who are going to school, graduating, interning, starting businesses, and starting families here. We are the very people who are helping America to go forward; ending DACA presents a barrier to them, and a barrier to American progress. The most upsetting thing is that I’ve been pledging allegiance to the American flag for as long as I can recall. Here I am today, a senior at Trinity College who has interned at both Google and Facebook, an involved student on campus, and someone who does a lot to try to help the community that I’m in. I’m one of many, and in the words of President Obama, “it makes no sense to expel talented, driven, patriotic young people from the only country they know”. For one man in office to belittle everything I’ve done and make me feel insignificant is upsetting.
This isn’t the end for DACA or for Dreamers, they don’t see this as the end of the tunnel. Over and over again, Dreamers have been left behind. As sad as it is to say, without immigration reform, we’ve sort of been forgotten about. Dreamers are CEOs, VPs, and business owners, and they don’t give up. At the end of the day they get shit done, and I don’t think that’s going to stop.