[OP-ED]:DACA Opponents Are American Dream Killers
Among the persons that provided poignant testimonials on positive benefits from DACA during the recent ceremony in Philadelphia’s City Hall commemorating the fifth anniversary of that fair-minded initiative instituted by former President Obama were two persons from countries that few ever connect with the controversy around undocumented immigrants in the United States.
For most Americans, the ‘face’ of the undocumented immigration controversy, is that of a Latino, particularly persons from Mexico and other Central American nations.
The myth that Latinos are the sole source of the so-called scourge of illegal immigration has been inflamed immensely by America’s Bigot-in-Chief, current President Trump, the shamelessly shameful proponent of mass deportations and building a “beautiful wall” along the U.S. border with Mexico.
Those two myth-smashing persons who spoke at that City Hall commemoration for DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – were a young lady whose parents came to America from India and a mother whose country of origin is the Caribbean nation of Jamaica.
Riddhiben Parmar said her parents brought her from India when she was a child so she could have a “better life.” But being undocumented presented painful hurdles for Parmar like once denied an internship she desired at a hospital because she didn’t have a Social Security number. (DACA permits recipients to obtain essentials for life in America like access to a Social Security number and a driver’s license.)
“DACA enabled me to be able to pursue my dream of giving back to the community by attending medical school to become a doctor,” Parmar said.
Prudence Powell, from Jamaica, said DACA has opened “so many doors” for her particularly enabling her to “provide” for her family.
“We often see Latino people in the immigration fight, not Caribbean’s. But we are all in this struggle, black, brown and white,” Powell said.
One of the strongest statements about DACA benefits came from Powell’s son Jalen who said tearfully that thanks to DACA he no longer fears his “Mom will be taken away.”
There are over 5,000 persons in Pennsylvania helped by DACA according to Carlos Gonzalez with the Pennsylvania Immigrant and Citizenship Coalition, himself a DACA beneficiary. Ending DACA, Gonzalez said citing reliable estimates, results in a $350-million annual loss to Pennsylvania’s economy.
On the same day of that City Hall DACA commemoration, one of the many such commemorations held across the country, President Trump spiraled further into the sewer of bigotry with his disgusting pronouncement that Nazi-supporters and far right-wing racists are “very fine people” – continuing his defiant refusal to sincerely condemn the white supremacists that triggered the recent deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va.
A salient example of the bigotry embedded in Trump’s policies on immigration is the fact that his enforcement/deportation actions are targeted towards Latinos and other persons of color, virtually ignoring the hundreds of thousands of predominately white unauthorized immigrants in the United States from Europe and Canada.
During that DACA commemoration Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney said ending DACA is cruel, bad policy and “un-American.”