President Trump recently gave the “DREAMers”(Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) some comfort.
Who are these “dreamers?” They are typically young, illegal (or unauthorized) immigrants who qualify for the deferred action initiative because they meet the general requirements of the DREAM Act. The president said to the Associated Press recently that his administration is:
“not after the ‘dreamers,’ we are after the criminals.” Trump continued, ‘‘Here is what they can hear: The ‘dreamers’ should rest easy,’’ Trump said. ‘‘OK? I’ll give you that. The ‘dreamers’ should rest easy.’’
President Trump pledged in the AP interview that he would not target the almost 800,000 people brought to the U.S. as children and living in the country illegally under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that former President Obama enacted. The president’s words offered little comfort for some immigrants. Some “DREAMers” said that they won’t “rest easy” just yet and they were not comforted by Trump’s pledge.
This statement came at the same time that Trump’s administration is broadly cracking down on illegal immigration. They have promised to speed up and widen deportations and are threatening local governments that refuse to cooperate with federal agencies.
‘‘Obviously actions speak louder than words,’’ said Saba Nafees, a 24-year-old ‘dreamer’ who is a graduate student at Texas Tech University. ‘‘His actions are pretty terrifying. What I’ve seen across the country, it’s unbearable for all of these families.’’ Juan Escalante, a 28-year-old who came to the U.S. from Venezuela when he was just 11 years old, said he was ‘‘not comforted by the president’s words.’’ Escalante continued, ‘‘He has said he will treat us with ‘heart’ and to ‘rest easy,’ and it just seems so general,’’
One immigrant, Rafael Robles, 26, along with his two siblings, have relied on the existing program for years. It had enabled them to go to school and work in the U.S. Their parents brought them to the Chicago area from Mexico when they were just children on visitor visas. They stayed decades past the legal limit and feel somewhat more secure with President Trump’s words. ‘‘In a weird way it does put my mind at ease because at least there is something to bring forward if he were to change his mind,’’ said Robles, who works at a real estate development company. ‘‘It sort of sends a message that they are having conversations about ‘dreamers.’’’
What do you think about the president’s recent words of comfort to these “DREAMers?”
Credit: Boston Globe