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February 1, 2018

A compromise too far


February 1, 2018

The White House is preparing to erode America’s reputation as a nation of immigrants and replace it with toxic immigration policy, which it has disguised as a way to save young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children, known as ‘Dreamers.’

The Trump administration has said it supports extending a pathway to citizenship for the roughly 800,000 Dreamers that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy currently protects from deportation and for other young immigrants who are eligible but don’t currently hold the protections ? an estimated 1.8 million people in total.

On Monday, you will hear White House officials present their outline as nothing short of a heroic attempt to reform our nation’s broken immigration system. Do not be fooled. What the White House is selling the American people is nothing but a nativist wish list that would reduce the number immigrants, especially people of color born in countries that Trump considers “shitholes.”

Remember, this is supposed to be a plan to deal with the Dreamer crisis that Trump himself created by ending DACA, a crisis that affects my family and me directly.

In addition to a Dreamer fix, the White House plan will likely include an extreme reduction of legal immigration and a complete end to the diversity visa program. It also would empower more agents to immediately deport people like my parents or children fleeing violence. The result of enacting all of these policies? Slowing down the browning of America ? or at least Miller can hope.

And then there’s the wall. The ‘big, beautiful wall,’ Trump’s signature policy goal and maybe the only one he fully understands. What else can a $25 billion wall be than a big middle finger to Mexico and countries south of the border? Keep out and stay out, the wall says.

With net unauthorized immigration already down to levels not seen in years, Trump’s wall is just a monument to his racism and xenophobia.

Of course, this comes as no surprise to anyone who watched Trump’s presidential campaign. He’s following through on a commitment to a white nationalist immigration agenda.

The White House thinks its strategy is clever. America loves the Dreamers ? a recent survey found an overwhelming majority supported legal protections for us ? so this administration is cynically using our lives and futures as leverage to get everything else it wants from Congress.

What Trump, Miller and Kelly don’t seem to understand is that Dreamers are also American, and we’re not going to let them trample all over our families and our values to be recognized as such.

We have all lived through too much pain and fear to merely sell our families out in this way. As people, not ‘illegal immigrants’ or bargaining chips, we recognize that the values and promises that this country has to offer are rooted in the idea that hard work will eventually give us the opportunity to fully live the American dream. The same goes for our parents, the original Dreamers who left everything behind. They took a chance and even risked their lives to provide us, their kids, with a better life and better opportunities. As Dreamers, we will demand that their sacrifices not be made in vain.

This article has been excerpted from: ‘The White House Dreamer Deal Isn’t a Compromise. It’s a Racist Ransom Note.’


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