The president of the United States, Donald Trump, just demolished the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
When Barack Obama’s idea was established in 2012, it was a temporary path for undocumented immigrants who arrived as children, primarily from Latin America, under certain conditions, including that they had no criminal record. They were called “dreamers.”
It was an acknowledgement from the United States that they were proud to be a country lifted up by immigrants, a country where it was possible to get ahead with hard work, intelligence and merit: the most noble version of the American dream.
But now, because of Trump’s decision – following the dictates of the supremacist, racist right – some 800,000 young people, among them many Columbians, remain in an unfair and hopeless limbo. If Congress doesn’t come up with a legal solution for them within six months, they will face deportation to their countries of origin, which for many means places they don’t know, where don’t have family, and where they might not even know the language. An Olympic-level hand-washing from Trump.
Considering the legal discussions and agonizing testimony of the dreamers, it is worth reflecting on what is happening in a society that makes a priority of deporting some of the most brilliant minds and most qualified members of the workforce, in whom the state has invested enormous resources and in whom such hope is focused, not only from their families but also their country.
Luckily, there are states that, in a type of rebellion, have promised to protect their dreamers. California is one of them. Academic institutions and universities have promised to safeguard the information of their undocumented students and many global corporations, such as Facebook, Disney and Apple, have condemned the president’s decision.
The elimination of DACA, framed in the Trump administration’s so-called “American First” slogan, without a doubt, is becoming a painful shot in the foot.