Finally some relief for DREAMers

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Dreamers
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Who said that persistence does not help?

After I found out about the news that after 10 years of failed attempts to change the legislature and after pressuring President Barack Obama

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for two years so he would have mercy and not deport the DREAMers, finally the Department of Homeland Security made an announcement of temporary relief, and the first thing that came to my mind was the persistence and strength of hundreds of thousands of young people who, in spite of closed doors and facing processes of deportations, never gave up.

Young people like Gaby Pacheco, of United We Dream Network, who a few years ago in order to bring attention to the issue, together with a group of friends walked from Florida to Washington, DC. An issue that would help young people who were brought to United States by their parents when they were young children. Young people who act and feel American in every sense of the word, except that they lack a little document that proves it. Young people that simply wanted to get their college degrees or join the military so they could contribute to this country.

“This was something that we were trying to prove to the nation. It is not easy. We tried for years; we sweated and struggled every day on our way from Florida to Washington, DC. It was these young people and those who joined them who could make this happen and if we can make this happen, we can make immigration reform happen,” Pacheco declared.

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It was estimated that 800,000 young people who are 30 years old or less, who came to United States when they were less than 16 years old, will be eligible for this new regulation that will give them work permits for two years with possibility to be renewed. They will have to fill out a lot of paperwork and it will be examined case by case.

This policy does not provide a perfect or extended solution. Many young people that were fighting for this for a long time will not be eligible because they are older than 30.

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But without a doubt this is a step forward and not only for the DREAM Act, but also for the comprehensive immigration reform that could help them and their families.

This is a light at the end of the tunnel not only for Dreamers, but also for the rest of the community of immigrants.

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“And it is not just that, it is the promise from Dreamers to the community that we keep on going not only for us, but for our families and our immigrants,” Pacheco added.

The critics of Obama will not take long to appear. Many Republicans will accuse him of ignoring the Congress in order to give “amnesty.” But the Republicans had opposed collectively any kind of legislative solution whether it is immigration reform or DREAM Act.

Marco Rubio, Republican Senator from Florida, who is beginning to look like a potential vice president candidate for Mitt Romney, and who was prepared to present a conservative version of the DREAM Act said that “these are welcomed news for many young people who are desperately looking for a solution, but this is a short term solution, and they need a long term solution. And to ignore the Constitution and go above the Congress with this policy will make it more difficult to find a balanced and responsible long term solution.”

The reason this is a short term solution is because Republicans opposed a long term solution. Rubio did not even present his bill and Republicans from his party from the House of Representatives already are questioning it.

This announcement puts Romney in check. He has been trying to court the Hispanic vote before the election.

Obama will also be accused of acting in order to gain votes since the news broke five months before the elections and when the Hispanic community had already complained that the President had promised immigration reform, but instead broke the record for deportations. But this is a temporal solution that will bring some relief to a group of immigrants, the Dreamers, whose cause had always had support from most of the population of the United States, from Hispanics and also the support of both democrats and republicans.

The White House had announced that “this is not an amnesty, it is not immunity, it is not a way to a citizenship, and it is not a permanent solution. This is temporal solution. That is what it is. And since it is temporal Congress has to act. There is still time this year for Congress to approve a DREAM Act.” And the urgency to approve the comprehensive immigration reform was underlined.

In 2008 Hispanic voters supported Obama in huge numbers and partly because he promised an immigration reform. This community has been unhappy a lot and not only because of the economy, but also for the deportations record.

At least it is incentive for voting.

“If yesterday you would ask me if Latinos will come out to vote in November, I would have said no. But now I think they will. It was a brilliant step form the President’s part and not only as a politician, but also as a statesman,” Pacheco said.

As they say the small details are the ones that can break you and after the failures of implementation of policies for administrative discretion to focus on deportations of criminals, we still will have to see if the implementation of this regulation will be done correctly for Dreamers. But for right now we celebrate because a part of the dream came true. 

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