The Dreamers (DACA Recipients): Shadow Warriors

When “Shadow Warriors” was conceived. It was intended to shine a light on those who are doing good works that are not yet recognized by greater society. The name is more appropriate for this month’s recipients, who have figuratively and sometimes literally lived in the shadows as they fought to remain in the country they know as home. The “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children are September’s selection for Shadow Warriors. 787,580 young people have been approved since the program started. Donald Trump and many in his party would send them back to lands they barely know.

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To have qualified for the DACA Program, begun by President Barack Obama in 2012 because Congress refused once again to enact comprehensive immigration reform. Applicants had to have come to the US before age 16 and lived here since June 15, 2007. Despite the claims of Jeff Sessions that the program created a “mad rush” to our borders. Only children already here for 5-years were eligible. No one over the age of thirty when the Department of Homeland Security enacted the policy in 2012, was eligible.

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The program is perceived as one benefitting those from Mexico and Central America. Indeed, most of the applicants came from Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador. But Korea comes next and not far behind China, India, and the Philippines. To qualify you either had to be a student, have graduated, obtained a certificate of completion from a high school or gotten a G.E.D. Also accepted were honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or US Armed Forces. They could not have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three misdemeanors of any kind. They could not otherwise pose a threat to “National Security or Public Safety.” If they were convicted of a felony they were sent back, gang activity got them sent back. They underwent extensive background checks and if they submitted fraudulent applications… sent back.

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The Dreamers have done well in our high schools, colleges, and universities. Because of the program, they were able to get drivers licenses and better jobs. They contributed more in Social Security Taxes than they withdrew. They pay taxes. Our economy is better off with their presence yet some politicians insist that they go.

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Daisy Romero was 9-years-old when she came to America with her parents. She registered for DACA on October 15, 2012. She filled out extensive forms with information about herself and her parents. Her father lost his job in Mexico when the plant where he was a supervisor closed. He stayed in America to provide a better life for his family.

Daisy went to college, ironically, at Donald Trump’s alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. The school is one of a few dozen “sanctuary schools,” a status that has come under fire from those who would see that practice end. DACA did not grant her a pathway to citizenship, it allowed her to live without constant fear of deportation. Those fears have returned. The government has all her information because in holding up her end of the bargain. They always know where to find her. The government’s promises to her are being broken.

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Juan Escalante has a blog where he talks about the life of an undocumented immigrant. In,  An Open Letter To Trump About DACA, From A Dreamer, Juan talks about coming to the States from Venezuela in 2000, escaping the Duarte regime Donald Trump just sanctioned because of the conditions there. Juan is a graduate of Florida State University and a fierce advocate for the undocumented. He fights for DACA students living in a state to be able to pay In-State tuition rates like their neighbors. He wants the dreamers to be able to “work and study” without being targets for deportation.

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The dreamers believe in the concept of what America stands for, more than many Americans. Many have American citizen younger brothers and sisters. They’ve overcome obstacle after obstacle and through perseverance, they will beat the rescinding of DACA as well. They will succeed because of their own battles and because they have allies. 76% of Americans think they should be allowed to stay and 58% believe they should have a path to citizenship. Protests were seen instantly around the nation including Trump Tower and Jared & Ivanka’s home. While there is a faint hope that Congress will act within the six-months provided by Trump and the Courts may step in. The Dreamers will find a way, for they are Warriors.

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Each month, Enigma In Black will feature a new Shadow Warrior. We highlight people and organizations doing great work that have yet to receive national recognition. Don’t miss any by following this page.

Please share so that we can bring these Warriors out of the shadows! I’d love to hear your suggestions for future Warriors which you can leave in the comments section.

Past Warriors:

Zain Jacobs

George Cooper

Aramis Ayala

Dr. Crystal A. deGregory

Kelly Hurst

The Wilson Academy

Sevgi Fernandez

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