People in Kentucky may have been immigrants themselves at one point, or chances are that they know someone who is. Immigration is in the forefront of our nation’s politics these days, in particular issues regarding how to handle “DREAMers” — undocumented persons who came to the United States as children. This is important as, according to one report by the Migration Policy Institute, there are approximately 3.6 million DREAMers in our nation. This amounts to approximately one-third of all undocumented individuals in the United States.
As this shows, although much attention has been given specifically to the approximately 800,000 DREAMers who qualified for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program instituted by the Obama administration, there are many DREAMers out there whose fate is at stake. DACA, for what it’s worth, was terminated last fall by President Trump. Congress is currently in negotiations with the President to come to an agreement regarding DREAMers and immigration.
According to one representative from the National Immigration Forum, if the DREAMers were deported, it would be a disaster, both morally and economically. According to him, these immigrants are able to contribute to our nation’s workforce, and thus have the ability to help the United States’ economy grow. However, a representative from the Center for Immigration Status has stated that protection should only be given to the DACA DREAMers.
It remains to be seen how this issue will play out politically, but it is one that will be closely followed by many. As any changes to the law will affect the lives of millions, both immigrants and non-immigrants, it is important that immigrant rights are upheld, and that the government’s deportation and removal powers are not unjustly used.
Source: USA Today, “There are 3.6M ‘DREAMers’ – a number far greater than commonly known,” Alan Gomez, Jan. 18, 2018