EDITORIAL: Dreamers at Sac State and nationwide deserve better


Eucario Calderon

From left to right, in this photo illustration are DACA recipients Israel Flores, Denisse Garcia and Erik Ramirez. The California State University recently granted funds for schools in their system to offer legal services to DACA recipients.

Dreamers are all among us, even at Sacramento State. 

The State Hornet recently spoke to and wrote about three DACA recipients at Sac State — two student representatives of Associated Students, Inc. and one alumnus who now works in the Dreamer Resource Center.

These three individuals are successful and are working to better their communities. They are all a positive asset to our campus.

RELATED: ‘Nothing in my life is secure’: Sac State DACA students speak out

But a higher standard need not be applied. 

DACA recipients grew up in the United States. Some do not speak the language of their birthplace. America is their home. 

Whether or not they are groundbreaking success stories, all Dreamers are people and need to be fully embraced by our society.

Seven years ago, President Barack Obama and his administration established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, commonly known as DACA. The program allows undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to apply for temporary protection against deportation.

Recipients must reapply to the program every two years. 

Two years ago, President Donald Trump tried to end the program but was stopped by district courts. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case and will hear arguments on Nov. 12.

Sending the recipients of the program, commonly known as Dreamers, to countries many of them fled for safety reasons or barely even lived in, is thoughtless. 

According to the National Immigration Law Center, there are approximately 700,000 DACA recipients currently living in the United States.

For two years now, these 700,000 people have been working, going to school and raising families, all while living with the terrifying prospect that the only life they have known could be ripped away.

The Dreamer Resource Center, DRC, is an invaluable resource at Sac State that provides legal and emotional support for Dreamer students. The California State University recently allocated funds for schools in their system to offer legal services to DACA recipients, allowing Sac State to add a third immigration lawyer to their pre-existing program.

RELATED: State funding allows Sac State to expand immigration services

When Trump ordered DACA to be terminated in September of 2017, he gave a six-month deadline for recipients to renew and for Congress to work out a deal.

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His administration has done nothing to protect DACA recipients, instead using it as a threat and bargaining chip against Democrats in regards to the federal budget. 

Now, after two years of no deal for DACA and two years of trauma for those waiting and wondering if they could be deported, Trump has the gall to actually say that if the Supreme Court ends DACA, then Congress can work on a deal to protect Dreamers. 

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Dreamers are already in their country, not our country. They deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect as any other American. 

While DACA recipients have been terrorized by two years of ominous storm clouds brewing over their lives, they have also been financially exploited. It costs $495 to apply for renewal, according to the National Immigrant Law Center.

Many people who need the protection of DACA, including the many students on our campus, cannot come up with this type of money. To ask them to pay for an application that gives them just two years of protection so they can continue to live and work in the place they know as home is reprehensible.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — so long as you have $500 and only for two years at a time.

Dreamers, who have lived in this country almost all their lives, should be allowed to stay and participate in our schools, communities and workplaces, and should be able to do it for free and without fear.

The State Hornet stands by Sac State’s Dreamer community.