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DACA put to the test the values and history of this nation of immigrants

 

The war that the United States president has unleashed since the beginning of his presidency against Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and thus, its thousands of beneficiaries and their families, has kept him busy devising different ways to inflict the greatest amount of damage possible on the young people protected by this program.

It’s like a not-fully-realized obsession, which caused him to cancel it in 2017, traipsing through various and sundry reversals in the lower courts, which is precisely why DACA is now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court, which this past November 12 heard oral arguments for and against the program, with the goal of evaluating its situation and issuing a decision next year.

Actually, in one of his latest Tweets on the topic, in the context of the Supreme Court audience, the president launched a new poisonous dart, saying that many of the people protected by DACA were no longer so young, were far from being “angels,” and that some of them were “tough, hardened criminals.”

What caused him to refer again with such viciousness to the Dreamers, who have done nothing bad to this country, neither to its stability nor its national security, as his own presidency has done since the first day (which is why he is walking on such a tightrope as the political trial against him advances)?

The reason why we have arrived at this point is something that goes beyond the legal question, since apart from the fact that its origin was an executive order issued by the previous administration in 2012, DACA has functioned to perfection on diverse fronts: first of all, it has given relief to those thousands of young people who have been able to continue studying; and second, it has allowed them to obtain employment, create businesses, open up new career paths, buy homes, pay taxes, and given an untold number of other benefits to the U.S. economy.

That is, it has made them into productive beings, like any average U.S. American. What country would not be grateful that this social program had such a seminal impact on its society, enriching the humanitarian aspect of the issue, and above all avoiding other dangers that could befall an important segment of the population?

Last week, of course, the results of a study from Harvard University about the multiple benefits of DACA came to light, especially the danger that the program’s disappearance would pose for the country and its beneficiaries.

“DACA termination could mean a reversal of the incredible progress made over the last several years. Our hope is that the findings within this report help to illuminate how critical and successful this policy is,” said the author of the study, Roberto Gonzales.

Co-author Carlos Aguilar, a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, added: “This report reminds us of the importance that DACA has had in the lives of undocumented youth and young adults. Their stories show how DACA has positively impacted individuals, their families and communities. As this report demonstrates, DACA is changing lives.”

Having proved its effectiveness in its seven years of existence, one cannot understand the refusal of today’s government to accept this reality unless it is coming from the perspective of discrimination and racism. It is already known that the vast majority of Dreamers come from Latin American families that, like the millions of other immigrants in the past, found within the geography and economy of the United States a place to establish themselves and start over again, after abandoning, without other options, their respective places of origin.

But the racist-xenophobic agenda upon which Trump fashions a good part of his immigration policies is becoming all the more clear, and at the same time more cruel, with no concern at all from the president. Proof of this are the recent messages that White House aide Stephen Miller sent to the conservative outlet Breitbart News between 2015 and 2016, which were revealed days ago by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The messages “showcase the extremist, anti-immigrant ideology that undergirds the policies he has helped create as an architect of Donald Trump’s presidency.”

In any other situation, a functionary with such a fascist ideological profile would have to immediately vacate his office; however, in this White House molded to Trump’s style, such ideology appears to be suitable and that which is both celebrated and emulated by the leader in his Tweets since the morning rises.

At the end of the day, whatever the ruling on DACA may be from the Supreme Court Justices in 2020, it should take into account the spirit and values by which these thousands of young people have grown up, values more inclined to the good part of the human condition, which obviously the U.S. leader today does not honor and with his own attitudes, decisions, and Machiavellianism has several prejudiced the image of this nation that, day by day, is perceived as the place for the rebirth of supremacy and ultranationalism.

To read the Spanish-language version of this article click here.