Approved by 10-0 vote of the Scroll editorial board
This past week the news has covered the brewing immigration debate, a debate this country has had for decades.
Things escalated when multiple news outlets, both liberal and conservative, reported that President Donald Trump said, “Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?”
According to Fox News, the people Trump was talking about were from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and African countries. Fox News also reported that Trump asked why the U.S. was not taking in people from Norway.
Since then, the nation has argued whether or not Trump is a racist while the government inched closer and closer to a shutdown. Congress failed to pass a budget bill on Jan. 20 to keep government agencies running.
According to the Wall Street Journal, multiple Senators, both Republicans and Democrats, voted against the budget bill. The Democrats who voted against this bill wanted to protect dream. This could have been avoided.
A bipartisan bill was presented to Trump during the meeting where the “s***hole” comments were made. The bill offered increased border security with new legal protections and a pathway to citizenship for dreamers, something they have never had, according to NPR. Trump rejected the bill after promising he would accept it just a few days prior.
This leaves nearly 800,000 dreamers worrying even more for their future in the U.S.
We at Scroll believe dreamers should be allowed to stay in the country because they help make the U.S. great.
Dreamers came to this country at the average age of 6.5, according to Vox. They weren’t even at the age of accountability yet. For many of them, this is the only home they truly know.
According to Reuters, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said, “These are kids who know no other country, who were brought here by their parents and don’t know another home.”
Ryan is not the only Republican in favor of helping dreamers. Reuters reported that Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah wants to help them as well.
“We also need a workable, permanent solution for individuals who entered our country unlawfully as children through no fault of their own and who have built their lives here,” said Hatch.
Dreamers are human and our brothers and sisters. They grew up here alongside us, many of them not fully aware they were undocumented during their childhood. We have students here at BYU-Idaho who are dreamers.
They are here through no fault of their own. Their parents brought them here when they were kids, and they didn’t really have much of a choice. They should not be punished for the “sins” of their fathers.
According to the U.S. Immigration website, dreamers have never been convicted of a crime in the U.S. If they had, they would not be eligible for DACA. Dreamers are either in school or have graduated and are in the workforce.
DACA recipients love this country and many have served in public service and the military. They have families here and some have children who were born in the U.S. and are U.S. citizens. If DACA is repealed, dreamers would likely be deported and be separated from their families, which is the opposite of what the U.S. stands for.
Considering not everyone is swayed by the humane argument — and I know there are some on this campus, I’ve talked to them — consider this: Keeping dreamers here makes economical sense too.
According to the Brookings Institution, over 90 percent of dreamers are working and paying taxes while ineligible for government benefits like voting, food stamps and Medicaid.
Dreamers also add to the U.S. economy, and the country would lose a lot if dreamers are deported. According to the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, dreamers pay an estimated $2 billion in taxes a year. If dreamers were allowed a pathway to citizenship, that $2 billion a year would rise to $2.53 billion a year.
According to the Cato Institute, repealing DACA and deporting the nearly 800,000 dreamers would harm the U.S. instead of helping it.
Ike Brannon of the Cato Institute said many Americans believe incorrectly that unauthorized immigrants are harmful to the economy and would like to see them deported. However, they point out that repealing DACA would harm the U.S. economy.
The Cato Institute said the cost of deporting dreamers would be about $60 billion and cause a $280 billion reduction in economic growth over the next decade. According to Business Insider, Idaho would lose almost $160 million.
The U.S. is supposed to be “a mighty woman with a torch…(the) mother of Exiles,” who proudly tells the world, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Dreamers fall into this category, as well as many of the immigrants coming from countries our president considers “s***holes”. They are the embodiment of the American Dream.
Dreamers help this country in more ways than we realize. They grew up here, they have paid and earned the right to stay here. They are as American as we are, and we should be proud to have them in this country because they are part of the fabric that makes America great.