Opinion

OPINION: Dreamers are more than a number

By Panthelys Theodoracopoulos

On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced that they would rescind the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) policy, an Obama administration initiative that suspended the deportation of 800,000 undocumented immigrants that came to the U.S. as children. After the announcement, the Internet was quick to show their support or disdain for the decision. I grew up in a nice home in Honduras. I was fortunate enough to always have everything I needed, but the sad reality is that I am only part of the 10 percent that can say that. Honduras is the fourth-highest immigrated country, and I can attest that sending these child immigrants back to Honduras is cruel and not Christ-like. There is a huge misconception regarding the DACA — it is not pardoning illegal immigrants just for the sake of it. There is an extensive process applicants have to follow to be under DACA. Applicants must have been 15 or younger when they arrived in the U.S., they must be under 31 when they apply, they must be in school or have graduated from school, and cannot have any criminal records. There are legal, economic and political reasons to keep DACA, but I want us to look at it from the moral side as Christians. “Dreamers” are kids that were brought here when they were young and don’t know any other home besides the U.S. I know a family that left Honduras in 2006. The mom had a kid four months after crossing the border into the U.S. The kid is now 11 and is an essential part of American society. Sending that kid back to one of the countries with the highest poverty rates in the world, where human rights are violated daily and where most families under the poverty line have to resort to drug dealing or looking for food in garbage cans for a meal, is heartless. I love my country with all my heart, and I wish to see it thrive. Because of that, I cannot stay silent when children are being ripped away from their families and being sent back to illegal drug trade and prostitution. The rescindment of DACA is no longer a partisan issue — it’s a human issue. I encourage you to reach out to dreamers and hear their stories. I invite you to go against what your family and friend groups say and believe is right. But most importantly, I urge you to put a face on the 800,000 illegal children your president is condemning to a slow, painful death in a third world country they have never known or called home.

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