The Dreamers’ Nightmare

The “dreamers,” some 800,000 immigrants who arrived in the U.S. without documents due to the will of their parents or relatives, awoke in terror at the nightmare called Donald Trump.

On Tuesday September 5, the U.S. president announced the end of the executive action that was issued in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama, which granted “dreamers” residence and temporary renewable work permits for a term of two years.

Trump’s order, which in political terms is an electoral trick, is not immediate. It gives Congress a period of six months for Democrats and Republicans to change immigration laws and stabilize the status of “dreamers.”

On March 5, 2018, Trump’s term for the Capitol expires. From that day onwards, if a law is not enacted beforehand, “dreamers” whose residence and employment permits expire on that day or later are undocumented immigrants once more, and are subject to deportation to their countries of origin.

No Republican has declared against the regularization of the status of “dreamers,” while the Democrats are in favor of legislating to make them permanent residents.

The majority of “dreamers,” of whom it is estimated that just over 600,000 are of Mexican origin, see the United States as their country – the land where they grew up, where they study, where they work, and which many of them even consider their homeland. They have defended it on the battlefield in the Middle East. Thousands of them know no other language than English.

Faced with the urgency of the deadline imposed by Trump, Republicans have busied themselves in their committees to come up with a bill that would not be considered a desperate act and adjusted to Democratic proposals.

Paul Ryan, the Republican leader of the House of Representatives, and Mitch McConnell of the Senate would have preferred Trump to leave Obama’s executive action.

But, no; in bringing it to an end, Trump fulfilled his electoral promise, which is the only thing that matters to him for his re-election aspirations. Last year, during the campaign, Trump promised that he would end that executive action and he did. Although in real terms it is not an immediate decision, it has its own problems.

If the Republicans do nothing about this by March 5, voters who sympathize with “dreamers” will extract their revenge in the November federal elections, when the entire House of Representatives and a third of the Senate are re-elected.

If Democrats sponsor a bill in favor of the “dreamers’” regularization, even if they do not get approval, they will gain supporters and could reduce the number of Republican seats in Congress. Democrats have more to gain than to lose with the “dreamers,” who, for the nightmare called Donald Trump, are more of an electoral bargaining chip than potential undocumented immigrants.

Trump’s order states that until October 5, every “dreamer” who is due a work and residence permit before March 4, 2018, can apply for a two-year renewal from the Department of Homeland Security. U.S. government officials estimate that some 130,000 “dreamers” will be able to renew their permit by the deadline.

Under DHS protection is the number of “dreamers” who would be subject to deportation on March 6 if Congress fails to legalize them. That’s another of Trump’s tricks.

The DHS holds data on all “dreamers” — where they live, whether alone or with relatives, where they study or work. Hence, although they may benefit from what Trump has done, this is still a nightmare for all of them.

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