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America’s ‘Dreamers’ Face the End

August 30, 2017
Plain English Version


There are 800,000 Dreamers. Most of the Dreamers are the children of Mexican adults who crossed the border without papers. Or who overstayed their tourist or school visas.

President Obama signed an executive order. The order said these young people could apply for ‘legal’ status. They could stay in the U.S. They could go to school or work.

Obama signed the order because Congress did not act on the subject of immigration.

Most Republicans did not like the idea of the order. When Donald Trump ran as a candidate for president, he said he would revoke the order. He now is President Trump.

President Trump had a good impulse. He said most of the Dreamers were “incredible kids.” He decided he wanted to find a way to allow them to stay. Now he has a political problem. Some (Southern) state attorneys general want the Dreamer program to end. They say they will try to overturn the executive order in the U.S. federal courts. The states believe they can win.

The question for Trump is: will the Department of Justice defend the program? If the Department does, Trump will be opposing states that he won in the election. It is a political problem for him.

What about the Dreamers? What once seemed a certain future comes to an end. The government can deport them. It knows all about them from their applications. They must refile applications every two years.

Was Obama’s order constitutional? No one knows for sure if the states would win in court. The courts have rejected other similar orders issued by Obama.

Immigration to America has a history as long as the country’s history. In the beginning, the Spanish, French, English, Dutch and Germans settled the new land. In the last half of the nineteenth century, Italians, Irish, Chinese and Jewish immigrants arrived. Immigrants provided the cheap labor for the growth of America.

The going was never easy. Different laws on immigration made it easier or harder to get into the country. Groups that did not welcome them usually opposed the new arrivals.

Do immigrants take the jobs of settled workers? Cheap labor made this country. So, yes there is some truth to that charge.

But countries need to grow. Immigrants provide the growth in numbers and workers. Growing populations produce prosperity.

Trump had the right idea about Dreamers.

Source: The New York Times August 27, 2017

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