Letter: We need to remember what makes being an citizen so precious

From: Justin Hohn


I’m struggling to understand how ostensibly educated people remain so obtuse about DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Recall with me exactly what action was deferred: prosecution for breaking the law. President Obama stated many times he had no authority to do so, then later did anyway.

That “Dreamers” did not bring themselves here illegally, indeed makes them victims. Children every day are victimized by adults in their lives. In ways big and small, from divorce to debt, kids face the consequences of what adults do. And when those adults break the law, it may be something as small as a speeding ticket taking away a dinner out, or something as big as having your whole life uprooted.

Let us be absolutely clear: the “Dreamers” are living a stolen dream, a dream stolen by their parents or another adult. It’s as if a child grew up as a squatter in a nice house. It may be the only home they ever know, but it was never theirs, and the time they spent there was stolen from someone who rightfully owned the house.

If the “Dreamers” are upset about being deported, they need to target their anger appropriately at those who led them to believe a stolen item was theirs all along: their parents or other adults who brought them here illegally. There should be ample time to discuss as they are deported.

The dream was stolen not only from American citizens. More importantly, it was taken from legal immigrants who patiently waited through the absurdly complex and slow process of becoming American citizens. Rewarding the “Dreamers” or any other illegal is a slap in the face of every immigrant who is waiting in that long line to realize their own American dream, instead of cutting the line and taking someone else’s dream.

Becoming an American is not a right, it is the highest privilege in human history. We must not cheapen it because we are confused about who is responsible for the consequences of enforcing the laws that make that citizenship so precious.