This entry is part of a weekly post on DREAM-eligible youth who are facing deportation, despite President Obama and his administration saying they are not a priority. Tell President Obama to stop deporting undocumented youth.
This past Friday, the New York Times published their Editorial titled “How a Democracy Works;” a must-read commentary on what the President could do to fix immigration.
As a strong supporter of immigration reform and the DREAM Act (or so he and his administration say…), it is hard to believe that the President would be opposed to any of these options. We have seen how the failed “(in)Secure Communities” program keeps deporting hard-working immigrants rather than “dangerous felons” (like it was intended to), so it’s only logical that the President would want to get rid of it, right? The President obviously wants to keep families together, so it would make sense for him to allow relatives of U.S. citizens to fix their status without having to leave the country, right? He is a supporter of the DREAM Act and has said it makes no sense to deport talented youth, so it would be a no-brainer for him to grant deferred action to all DREAM-eligible youth . . . right?
These all seem like very doable options while we wait on Congress to actually do something. Yet, it seems that every time someone asks him to do something to bring relief to the community, such as granting deferred action to DREAM-eligible youth, all we hear is “I can’t bypass Congress.”But the thing is, we’re not asking President Obama to bypass Congress. We’re asking him to use his executive power (I’m sure he’s heard of it) to bring relief to a community he, supposedly, supports. Because while we’re all waiting anxiously for Congress to act, there are students like Elier Lara who have had to fight to stay in the U.S.
Elier was born in Mexico but he hasn’t been there since he was 4 years old. Last year, Elier was detained during his trip back from a school competition at Nationals for Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship. He was arrested and forced into deportation proceedings in front of his teammates and coach. Since then, he has had to fight deportation to a country he no longer remembers or calls home. It was only after launching a campaign to help stop his deportation, that Elier was finally granted deferred action by DHS. He can stay in the country, but he is still in limbo.
So while President Obama makes up excuses about why he can’t use his executive power to grant DREAM-eligible youth deferred action, students like Elier continue to face deportation. Countless students are deported every day to countries they don’t know. They are separated from their family, friends, and country all because the President doesn’t have the courage to hold a pen and stand up for us. If President Obama truly supports immigrants, he sure has a funny way to show it. Deporting undocumented youth (and undocumented immigrants, in general) seems to be on the top of his list.
Let’s show him that this is unacceptable for someone who calls himself our friend.