What happens to a dream deferred?
Over the past 72 hours, Langston Hughes’ words have latched onto my every thought, informed the majority of my tweets, and served as the source of my tears.
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
While Americans were preparing for a long weekend of fun and fellowship, the president of these United States leaked a late Friday night hatement declaring an end to the Obama-sponsored Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The Friday night memo was followed up by a Monday morning presser with well-known foe to people of color Attorney General Jeff Sessions, driving the proverbial nail into the coffin where dreams of 800,000 children and young adults now lay.
DACA allows children of adult illegal immigrants to remain in the United States through a deferral program and work permits. DACA recipients, better known as DREAMers, are here through no fault of their own and after spending most of their lives in the United States the ending of the program will force them to “go back” to a land unfamiliar and likely unwelcoming to them.
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
I’m sad for the parents who sacrificed life and limb for a better tomorrow for their families. I’ve watched Nashville’s non-English speaking immigrant parents lineup along school sidewalks to participate in Reading nights to support their children. Braving the unfriendly streets to walk their children to school. Communicating a relentless dedication to their child’s education by always showing up.
But I’m also devastated for the DREAMers. My own children are the peers of thousands of DREAMers and though they have their own hurdles to clear as a Black woman and Black man in America, they, at the very least, can dream freely.
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
This blog post fails to accurately reflect my feelings, but I had to do something. Check out a few DREAMer facts provided Conexion Americas, The Education Trust, and Education Leaders of Color:
- Ending DACA will affect 800,000 young contributing members across the country
- Tennessee could lose 8,000 workers
- Rescinding DACA will impact 65,000 seniors set to graduate high school next summer
- Ending DACA would result in a loss of $460.3 billion from the national GDP over the next decade
- One-third of DACA recipients are enrolled in high school
- One-fifth of DACA recipients are enrolled in college
- One-fourth of DACA recipients are juggling college and work
“Many of these children and young adults who are DACA recipients have only ever known the United States as their home. They deserve the chance to gain an education, earn a living, and continue contributing to our community without fear or threat of deportation. I would urge Congress to recognize this and immediately pass legislation that restores DACA as the law of the land.” – Megan Barry, Mayor of Nashville
“Ending DACA is a mistake.” – Nick Zeppos, Chancellor Vanderbilt University
“100% of Dreamers have no criminal record and 91% have jobs.” – Kaivan Shroff
“To reverse course now and deport these individuals is contrast to fundamental American principles and the best interests of our country.” – U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
HOW TO HELP:
From Renata Soto, Co-founder and CEO of Conexion Americas:
- Please call our Senators today and urge them to step up to protect the thousands of immigrant youth that call Tennessee home. Ask them to condemn President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA and move quickly to enact legislation to protect DACA recipients.
Senator Lamar Alexander 202-224-4944
Senator Bob Corker 202-224-3344
Please also thank U.S. Representative Jim Cooper for standing up for DREAMers 202-225-4311.
- Do you know a DREAMer who is a DACA recipient? Please help us spread the word and share this information and resources.