Tuesday, September 2, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

DREAMers should wake up

navarrette column sig

By
From page A11 | June 20, 2013 |

SAN DIEGO — Immigrant rights advocates recently marked the one-year anniversary of the government program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

So it’s time to do three things: understand what DACA is and isn’t; evaluate the illegal immigrants whom it was meant to help, i.e., the estimated 1.5 million DREAMers brought to the United States as children by their parents; and take stock of the legislation at the center of all this – the DREAM Act, which would have given legal status to young people who went to college or joined the military had it not died in the Democratic-controlled Senate in 2010.

First, DACA is not an executive order issued by President Barack Obama that would have the force of law and require some effort to overturn. It is merely a temporary change in policy at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is run by the Department of Homeland Security. House Republicans recently approved an amendment by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, to a DHS appropriations bill that would essentially end DACA.

Adding to the drama, the DHS is not an honest broker. By the end of 2013, the agency is expected to have deported as many as 2 million people. Why would anyone apply for a program that requires telling ICE their name, home address and names of parents and siblings who are also undocumented?

More than 150,000 DACA applications have been approved to date. Successful applicants are given a work permit, and, for two years, they can continue to live in the United States without being deported. Yet no one knows what happens after that grace period ends.

Besides, the administration doesn’t even respect its own program. There are disturbing stories – circulated often by grassroots immigrant rights groups such as Presente.org and Cuentame – of young people who obtained DACA protection and still got a deportation order. Immigration lawyers have warned me that, without immigration reform, DACA is just a paper shield.

As for the DREAMers, many of them have issues. No one knows what to do with them. Their conundrum is that they insist they did nothing wrong since they were brought here involuntarily. But they are also reluctant to complete the thought and admit who broke the law to bring them here – their parents.

The good news: Raised in the United States, they are, for all intents and purposes, Americans. The bad news: Many of them have marinated for years in the same juices as the rest of America’s youth – demanding rights but ignoring responsibilities, plagued by narcissism, fawned over and convinced that they are special and entitled.

I’ve said this before, hoping to give DREAMers a wakeup call. It worked with some, but others hit the snooze button.

No matter. Someone needs to tell the truth about a subset of the illegal immigrant population who – with help from the media, self-serving 501(c)3 organizations, and Democratic politicians – now see themselves as the princes and princesses of the undocumented world.

Finally, concerning the DREAM Act itself, the spirit of the legislation lives on in the Senate immigration bill proposed by the Gang of Eight. The bill would require most undocumented immigrants to wait 10 years for legal permanent residency, but it cuts the wait time in half to five years for DREAMers.

Why? When the DREAM Act was first introduced in the Senate in 2001, the idea made sense. Congress wasn’t going near immigration reform. The thinking was that the ship was sinking and there should be a lifeboat. The DREAM Act was it. Now, in 2013, Congress is debating an immigration bill that could legalize as many as 11 million people. So there is no need for lifeboats. What makes DREAMers more important than millions of other hardworking illegal immigrants who aren’t going to college or joining the military?

The DREAM Act is an idea whose time has come – and gone. In hindsight, the bill was always snobby and divisive. It would have put those who went to college in front of those who went to work or opted for vocational school. It would have divided families.

DACA hasn’t lived up to the billing. The DREAMERS aren’t as special as they think they are. And the DREAM Act doesn’t look as good as it once did.

Where does that leave us? The same place we were in 2001, before we began this telenovela – in need of real immigration reform that isn’t elitist and doesn’t play favorites.

Ruben Navarrette is a columnist for U-T San Diego. Reach him at ruben@rubennavarrette.com.

Ruben Navarrette

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Labor Day not a holiday for everyone

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Labor Day breakfast introduces union-backed candidates

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Pool provides last dose of summer fun in the sun

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
SafeQuest schedules peer counseling training course

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

VP Biden says workers deserve ‘fair share’

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Obama: ‘Revving’ economy calls for higher wages

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Senegal monitors contacts of 1st Ebola patient

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
San Francisco to be 1st to test urban farming law

By The Associated Press | From Page:

GOP challenger tries novel tactics against Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
US eating habits improve a bit – except among poor

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

 
No gray area: Beliefs shape views of Brown killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Iraqi prime minister pledges to root out militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Poland’s PM: Ukraine’s war must be stopped now

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Pro-Russian rebels lower demands in peace talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments | Gallery

US helicopter crashes in Gulf of Aden; all rescued

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Opinion

.

Living

Community Calendar: Sept. 2, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
.

Entertainment

Inquiries begin into nude celebrity photo leaks

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
‘Guardians’ tops Labor Day, summer box office

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Kirk rallies to win the Deutsche Bank

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Rockies top Giants after losing end of suspended game

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Dunn homers in 1st at-bat as A’s top Mariners

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Right guard Boone passes physical, rejoins 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders name rookie Derek Carr as starting QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Armijo beats Vanden 2-0 to claim All-City boys soccer title

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Armed with new deal, Chiefs’ Smith looks forward

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Column: Stewart’s Chase status doesn’t matter

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Raiders ink CB Dowling, 9 others to practice squad

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Serena Williams, Djokovic roll to US Open quarters

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Houston Astros fire manager Bo Porter

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Hamels, 3 Phillies relievers no-hit Braves

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Markets drift as Wall Street has day off

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Austerity debate flares as Europe recovery fades

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Civil disobedience expected in fast-food pay fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 4 Comments | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Beetle Bailey Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Zits Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Blondie Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
B.C. Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Crossword Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Dilbert Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Cryptoquote Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Garfield Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7