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Protect Our Children


The public will has spoken, but President Trump is not paying attention.  In the latest poll on whether or not DACA children should be protected from deportation and remain in this country, 87% voted in favor of keeping them here. The issue has been very visible on the federal government’s radar screen as a wedge issue for quite some time, manipulated by the whims of the power structure in Congress—essentially it has become a political football. Demonstrating his usual ambivalence and cagey behavior, Donald Trump refuses to pay attention to his constituents and his adversaries who have come to the bargaining table to negotiate. When this is coupled with Trump’s Republican followers in Congress who don’t have the courage to do what is right even at the behest of the public will the government has become inoperable. Let me be clear on this issue, the federal government has been defunct for over a year. Passing a short-term budget solution will not cure the problem. Let’s protect the children.

The current federal administration passed tax reform purportedly for middle and working-class sectors of our nation in order to increase their purchasing power. Trump is hailing this as a victory for Republicans, with a refusal to shed light on the negative effects this will have on lower and middle-class Americans and the increasing deficit. Policies that are being proposed will only drive hard working Americans into the throes of poverty by cutting programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, with the exception of the 1% that sit at the top of the pyramid. Current policy initiatives are also aimed at dissolving many other social programs that benefit a large number of our citizens, affecting hundreds of thousands of families.

What right-wing policy makers fail to understand is that immigrants contribute to the American economy and way of life through hard work. DACA children and parents are not leeches as reported by our current administration, they are hard-working families that are loyal to this country.

Trump continues to use immigrants as scapegoats and pawns in a chess game, blaming them for the economic failures and threatening to deport hundreds of thousands of youth and potentially millions of undocumented workers to their home countries. Two hundred thousand plus El Salvadoran and Haitian immigrants are also waiting in the abyss for a decision regarding their future status. The reality is that the President has a difficult time finding balance in his policy initiatives—to him it is either my way or the highway. His dismal failure at building the wall between the two countries pushes his buttons. The great negotiator as he touted himself hasn’t been able to negotiate compromise, not even on a tangential issue.

Protecting our children against the incessant attack against Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is aimed at the well-being of youth that for all practical purposes are American citizens. They have broken no laws but have been subject to reprehensible immigration policies that will destroy their wills and the aspirations of thousands of families, forcing them to make inhumane choices regarding their safety and security. The recent deportation of Jorge García who had been in this country for 30 years demonstrates the brutality and insensitivity that President Trump has for other human beings. Trump’s sanctity of life mantra should be spread across the warfare and militarism that he preaches where many young Americans have lost their lives.

What right-wing policy makers fail to understand is that immigrants contribute to the American economy and way of life through hard work.  DACA children and parents are not leeches as reported by our current administration, they are hard-working families that are loyal to this country. Data from the United We Dream (UWD), the National Immigration Law Center, University of California researchers, and the Center for American Progress inform us that DACA “recipients continue to make positive and significant contributions to the economy, including earning higher wages, which translates into higher tax revenue and economic growth that benefits all Americans.” Many DACA students have graduated from American universities and established businesses that hire workers, adding more tax revenue.  Another segment of the immigrant population has joined American military forces to protect American democracy. Immigrants serving in the United States military has deep historical roots.  Non-citizens have fought in and with the U. S. Armed forces since the Revolutionary War. According to One American, “each year around 8,000 non-citizens enlist in the military.  According to the Department of Defense as of 2008, “more than 65,000 immigrants (noncitizens and naturalized citizens) were serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.” Immigrants have fought for democracy but are refused full participation in the American way of life.  On March 6th President Donald Trump is scheduled to take an official stance on the rescinding of DACA; therefore, it is difficult to ascertain what will become of the 800,000 DACA students? Americans should push for resolution immediately.

Our struggle against the tentacles of social and economic injustice grows as this tripartite of claims made by the current administration and built upon false assumptions about a segment of working class laborers has no foundation. With the aforementioned dynamics at play we are now facing even greater obstacles with and inept president and what is left of his administration.

 

Let’s protect our children!

 

Dr. Ramón Del Castillo is an Independent Journalist. © January 19, 2018 Ramón Del Castillo.

 

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