On Monday, The Oklahoman hosted its Instant Reaction panel discussion on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) at Oklahoma City Community College’s Capitol Hill Center. It put faces on DACA arrivals, also known as Dreamers. Dreamers are at risk of losing their right to live in the United States after President Donald Trump and White House officials recently announced plans to rescind previous protections put in place by former President Barack Obama.
A Dove High School senior, Briseyda Amador, faced a DACA application process so complicated that, in addition to collecting her school awards and medals, she had to assemble her library records and her family’s rent records. (Amador admitted to having once run up a $3 fine at the Metropolitan Library System.)
Seriously, Amador and other DACA immigrants potentially face a naturalization process even more complex, such as being placed on a waiting list that is 120 years long.
Consider the human dimension
Immigration limbo: Battles create struggle for identity by Swathi Narayanan
As of 2016, Oklahoma City ranked second in the nation in the percentage of Hispanics who are under the age of 18. They will either become some of our greatest leaders or the victims of a cruel, collective temper tantrum.
“These are children,” said Chris Brewer, superintendent of Santa Fe South charter schools.
We shouldn’t be playing politics with them. They will either become some of our greatest leaders or the victims of a cruel, collective temper tantrum.
Oklahomans who are otherwise sympathetic to Dreamers often ask, “Why don’t they just get in line?” Well, panelist Jessica Vasquez of Dream Act Oklahoma has been in line since 2000, but some DACA immigrants are on a waiting list that is 120 years long. Functionally, the line leads nowhere.
Take a look at the panel discussion, embedded below. Listen to the firsthand accounts of what’s actually happening, and witness the human dimension of the DACA controversy.