Hispana and Proud

As a Daughter of Immigrants, This is Why I Must Support DACA Recipients

As a daughter of immigrants, I feel a deep responsibility for my fellow immigrants. I especially feel deeply for Dreamers and DACA recipients. I know of these people, and their stories are similar to mine: they have immigrant parents, they grew up here, they’re bilingual, they’re overachievers, they’re driven, they are educated, they know more about American history than the average non-Latinx American-born person.

The only difference between them and myself is that I was born here, and they weren’t. I have a blue passport, and they don’t.  Like for me, the United States is their home. Like for me, they are patriotic and love this country— for most it is the only country they’ve ever known.

 

 

I know that being born here, having an American passport, opened many doors for me. Things that I maybe took for granted when I was younger. 

As the daughter of immigrants who was born in the United States, I can’t help but think of all the things I got a chance to do because I was born here. I got financial aid, I studied abroad, I traveled every summer to my parents’ country, I got a license. … So I can’t help but think, why me and not Dreamers? As a mother, I can’t help but think, maybe one day I could be that parent who leaves her home to search for better opportunity (never say never… you never know what the future has in store). 

So, when I see DACA recipients being demonized by the occupant in the White House, or being called criminals it bothers me so much. Because DACA recipients are GOOD people. They are your neighbors, they are teachers, they are lawyers, they are in your community and you probably don’t even know it. They literally wouldn’t have been able to get DACA if they didn’t fulfill a long list of criteria.

DACA recipients do NOT deserve to be demonized. They deserve to be able to contribute to this country and do it without worrying that they are going to be forced to go back to a place they’ve never been to.

Today the Supreme Court heard the Administration make a case for why DACA should be rescinded. Most Americans (87%) support the DACA program.

Let’s get something straight:

Rescinding DACA has nothing to do with good immigration policy and EVERYTHING to do with being anti-immigrant and racist.

We are talking about stripping the possibility of work and livelihood for over 700,000 people who are educated and talented individuals who are contributing to this country. How many tax dollars does that represent exactly? How many teachers would have to leave their students if DACA were to be rescinded?

Even if we put aside the clear moral and just issue here (why do we want to upend the lives of individuals who have done nothing wrong and everything right?) Smart people know that this is not good ECONOMIC policy. As the President of Princeton and the President of Microsoft say “Talent, from every source and background, is the lifeblood of innovation. […]  Standing up for DACA students is not only the right thing to do morally, it is also the right thing to do competitively.”

So, as the daughter of immigrants, I simply cannot forget the good fortune that I have had to have been born here, and I, unlike others who have forgotten where they come from and the opportunities that have been given to them. And yes I am calling out those people who came to this country, or whose parents came to this country by whichever way, and have been able to make a life for themselves and be contributing members of this society..but who seem to forget that maybe once upon a time, they were also undocumented, or maybe they weren’t, but they are still immigrants… their parents or grandparents came to this country for a better life, for more opportunities. What kind of a person are you to want to deprive others from doing exactly what your parents did, or what you’re doing? Are you afraid of the competition? Are you afraid these DACA recipients are going to take away your job? Get into college and take away your spot? What are you afraid of? Do you think there are limited amounts of opportunities and you don’t want to share? This isn’t pie, there is ENOUGH to go around. Your deficit mentality is hurting us all. 

DACA recipients have done everything right. They deserve to be here. We must support them and never forget where we came from. Because an injustice done to one member of our community is an injustice done to us all. 

 

passport image credit: Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash 
Diana Limongi
welcome! I'm a mom, activist, nonprofit professional and writer from Queens, NY. I blog about motherhood, parenting and raising my multilingual and multicultural kids in NYC. I have two kids, a 7 year old and a toddler.

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