It is amazing that one minute people can be singing – “Good tidings we bring, to you and your kin; good tidings for Christmas, and a happy New Year!” – and the next minute, without thinking twice, that same group of people are demanding that hundreds of thousands of young, hard-working immigrants be banished from the United States.
What did these immigrants do wrong?
They arrived here as the children of parents who slipped into America years ago (yes, Mom and Dad did so illegally) with the hope of finding a better life in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
The jobs many of us didn’t want — hotel maids, custodians, restaurant cooks, farm laborers – those parents took without complaints. They didn’t look at the work as demeaning; but as a down payment on their children’s future.
For the most part, their children haven’t disappointed. They’ve been labeled as “The Dreamers” and have served in the military, paid income tax, property tax and sales tax. According to the Cato Institute, their average age is 22 years old and those who are employed earn about $17 an hour. The majority are still students and 17 percent are pursuing an advanced degree.
Yet a small number of Americans want to deport them since The Dreamers now lack legal immigration status because of the repeal of the federal program “Deferred Action for Children of America” (Daca).
Thus, we were glad to hear Thursday a bipartisan group of governors, including Ohio’s John Kasich, sent a letter to congressional leaders in both parties urging them to “come together quickly to shape a bipartisan solution that allows our Dreamers to remain in the United States.” The letter was signed by Republican and Democratic governors from Colorado, Montana, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Massachusetts, Vermont, Minnesota, North Carolina and Wisconsin.
The governors’ letter said, in part: “We stand with these young American immigrants not only because it is good for our communities and a strong American 21st century economy, but also because it is the right thing for our nation to do…”
The Dreamers love this country.
Their families cried along with yours and ours when 9/11 occurred, when police officers were shot and when hurricanes spread havoc on America’s coastal cities.
Their parents didn’t dream of a white Christmas; they dreamt of living the American ideal.
Most Americans agree they should be allowed to achieve this ideal. (“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” – Quote inside the Statue of Liberty).
The latest CNN poll shows legislation is favored by an 83 to13 percent margin, with support cutting across political ideologies: Democrats back a new law for Dreamers by a margin of 94 to 4 percent; Independents by 83 to 14 percent; and Republicans 67 to 25 percent.
We hear our Congressmen, including Jim Jordan, say they are following the wishes of their constituents. That being the case, let’s make this Christmas the beginning of a year where hope is not forgotten and dreams come true.
Dreamers are already American in every way but one — their citizenship. Congress should pass a law that makes it official.
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