Series Part Two: Voices of Delmarva Dreamers
DOVER, Del. – It has been over a year since the Trump administration decided to pull the plug on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and although Dreamers are unable to cast a ballot they are responding by making sure their voices are heard.
“As someone who doesn’t have a legal status here, we don’t have the right to vote, and the only way that we’ll be heard is if we go and talk to them ourselves and to me that was the most effective way we could do something,” said Indira Islas.
In their mind the U.S. should allow them an easier path to citizenship, but certain lawmakers like Maryland Congressman Andy Harris believe they should do it the way many others have.
“What I don’t think we should do is we shouldn’t make citizenship automatic if these individuals want to become citizens they should do it the way everybody else in the world does,” said Harris.
“They should go home and get back in line, they can serve in the military,” said Harris.
But, democrats have taken a different stance, and it is part of the reason why Dreamers are relying on legislators like Delaware’s U.S. Senators Chris Coons and Tom Carper. These U.S. senators said Dreamers make major contributions to society so they believe ending DACA is a big mistake.
“Why today when we have millions of jobs that are going unfilled everyday would we send hundreds of thousands of people back to the countries where they were born instead of allowing them to make a contribution here?” said Coons.
“They pay taxes, they pay into our system and I frankly see more benefit than cost to Dreamers being able to remain as part of our American society,” said Coons.
U.S. Senator Coons unveiled legislation to protect Dreamers and to protect border security, but it failed to pass.
“Frankly, until there is some clear path that the President is willing to accept that invests in border security and addresses problems with our broken immigration system I’m not optimistic that we’re going to be able to fix this problem,” said Coons.
But, while they are waiting for this problem to be fixed those like U.S. Senator Coons are not giving up the fight for those who may be forced to go home like Indira Islas’ family.
“Both of my parents are on deportation orders and so they’ve been such a huge help and it just amazes me how much they’re willing to help me and my family,” said Islas.
It is a battle these young Dreamers are glad the senators are a part of, a battle that they are fighting day by day by living their lives the right way and by sharing their stories so others can get the courage to do the same.
“I feel like this is my way of making a contribution to society just explaining my story for other people to understand and gain from,” said Muhammed Jah.
Politics aside these Dreamers say they are just trying to live a better life, so they are hoping that by speaking out they will reach their dreams.
“That’s the only thing that we want is to succeed, do better, have a better future for our future family and to let them know that hey we are your neighbors, we’re you’re brothers and sisters and we’re here to stay,” said Homar Rodriguez.