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Our View: Support Dreamers on Berry's campus

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Katie Sweeney | CAMPUS CARRIER
Berry students gather in front of Congressman Tom Grave's office in Rome to speak out about the recent repeal of DACA by President Trump.

Recently, President Trump made the decision to cancel DACA. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, passed by former President Obama in 2012, ensured young, undocumented immigrants brought to America as children the opportunity to live, work, and study legally, without fear of deportation. Since its creation, DACA has given this chance to nearly 800,000 young immigrants. Ending DACA puts them all under risks of losing their jobs, places in colleges and universities, and in fear of deportation. 

DACA has faced scrutiny by conservatives for years. They claim it brings in unnecessary violence and other absurd, xenophobic claims without any correlation to the reality of Dreamers and what they have actually brought to our country. 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions claimed that Dreamers prevent American citizens from employment, saying DACA has “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs.” DACA recipients are well educated, benefiting the economy and our job force in more ways than one. Saying that they take away jobs from American citizens is denying the simple truths of an already healthy, expanding job market with opportunities for everyone, and the fact that Dreamers are themselves just as qualified as many “true” American citizens. 

Before its repeal, DACA recipients had to fulfill many requirements to maintain their status as dreamers. Among these stipulations, they had to have re-applied every two years, made their personal information known to the government, could not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and could not have otherwise posed a threat to national security or public safety. DACA recipients also had to have been enrolled in school, had graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, or had obtained their general education development (GED) certificate. 

Dreamers have grown up in America, gone to school, worked jobs and started their own families here in America. In so many ways, Dreamers represent what it means to be an American citizen, only being separated from me and you by a few pieces of paper. They have sought after the “American dream” just like the rest of us, and have worked hard to be where they are today. Sending them back to countries which they are not familiar with just because it’s “where they come from” is inconsiderate and contradictory to true American values. 

Dreamers are here, on our campus, walking around with fear and frustration imposed by our country’s leader. As their fellow citizens, peers and friends, they deserve our support. We can all help get our voices heard by contacting our local government officials. In Rome, you can contact our local congressmen, Tom Graves, by mail at 600 E. First St., Suite 301 Rome, Georgia 30161. Or, by phone at 706-290-1776. You can also contact Georgia senators Johnny Isakson, and David Perdue. Isakson’s Atlanta office information is One Overton Park 3625 Cumberland Blvd., Suite 970, and phone number, 770-661-0999. Purdue’s Atlanta office is 191 Peachtree St. NE, Suite 3250 Atlanta, Georgia 30303 and phone, 404-865-0087. 

By writing or calling our representatives, we can speak up for our neighbors whose livelihood is now in danger. As a nation, we need to make it known that we will not stand for the blatant disregard for the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who have worked to make our country what it is today. In times such as these, it’s more important than ever to speak up and defend those whose voices are being quieted. 

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