When Alfredo Ruiz left the United States to take care of his ailing father in Mexico at age 17, he had no idea he would be trapped in a state of legal limbo for years. Born abroad, Ruiz was brought to the United States as a toddler.
Having spent most of his life in the United States, he is desperate to come back to the place he calls home. However, due to having no way to re-enter the country legally, Ruiz has been deported five times as he has attempted to reunite with his mother in the United States. Now at 22, he worries that should he try to cross the border again, he may face jail time.
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, young people often referred to as “Dreamers” represent 800,000 people who are the children of undocumented immigrants, brought to the United States without documentation, but while they were underage. In the previous administration, it had been determined that Dreamers would receive an extension of their status, and the Obama era also brought forth the idea of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, which would have offered a reciprocal effect, allowing for 5 million undocumented immigrants to become citizens.
Changes in administration and the pendulum swinging far to the right now throw Dreamers and their parents back into limbo. The Trump administration had first attempted to say while in office that these cases should be handled with heart and compassion, has switched gears, saying that “Congress is the only entity that can provide a long-term solution to this issue.”
This is no reason for celebration. We know who Trump is, what his thoughts on immigration are, and he has shown us who he is. We should believe him.
Sadly, this is not the first time in our country’s history when a minority group has been villainized. The vulnerability of Japanese Americans as the “other” during World War II can be viewed through the lens of the “fall” group. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, it was determined that Japanese Americans were a “threat” resulting in their being removed from their homes and interned in camps. The Japanese Americans interned were not released until after World War II ended, and for four years, thousands of innocent people were held hostage for their ethnicity.
The deportation of Dreamers accomplishes nothing for the betterment of our country. These young people, who are invested and have a stake in their future here, deserve to at least know what their future holds, and the current administration’s lack of compassion and nuance bodes poorly for those waiting.
Ask Henry Lim
Do you have a question for Henry Lim? During 18 years of practicing law, he has helped more than 10,000 families move to the United States. You can Ask Henry a question at [email protected] or submit a video question by sending a link to one of our channels. For legal assistance, email or call for an appointment: 407-897-8870. Our first consultation is complimentary.