Letter to the Editor

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Monday, September 11, 2017

Spencer's cub reporter Colin Van Westin (in his Sept. 7 "Colin You Out") attempted to put forth the case for allowing "Dreamers" to stay in the United States. Now I get it, "You gotta have a dream; if you don't have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?" (See the wonderful musical “South Pacific.”) Not one to quash the dreams of folks I don't even know, I certainly do not propose to be mean spirited or punitive. After all, as Colin points out, "Dreamers are guilty of no crime, unlike undocumented workers, they were just following the instruction of their parents." While that may be true, and I have no bone to pick with that aspect of things, there's more to the issue, and I'd like to elaborate on that.

First of all, President Trump inherited this situation of 800,000 folks here due to the illegal actions of their parents. Years ago, Congress couldn't resolve the matter (as seems to be the case with many issues our country faces), so the former president used the power of his pen to enact the policy that allows dreamers to avoid deportation. As I understand it, our current president is tasking the Congress to deal with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in the next six months, or the provision expires. Seems pretty clear: Our legislators need to put their collective heads together and craft a policy/law that both respects the contributions of dreamers, and expects that they will in turn take the necessary steps to become U.S. citizens. If they are here contributing to the communities wherein they reside, wouldn't they want to take this step?

All this caterwauling about tossing people out of the country and castigating legislators who want to see the rule of law respected needs to cease! If all the affected people are upstanding, contributing residents in this country, why wouldn't they want to be full-fledged citizens, with all the rights and privileges thereof? On the other hand, if a number of them are up to no good and wanting all the privileges but none of the responsibilities of citizenship, I can see why they might protest, cry foul, and in general be bent out of shape.

From what I know in the past year or so, deportations of criminals, nasty scofflaws and other nonproductive people are at an all-time high. Good, that's the way it should be. Maybe that would be an effective way to deal with our own homegrown "citizens" who just can't seem to follow the law. Except which country would take them as deportees? No, it is up to us to deal with our own. So if dreamers want to be counted in the fold, the same rules and expectations should apply. Congress needs to set up the provision for dreamers to pursue citizenship. In the meantime, keep working and paying taxes. When the citizenship process is completed, we can all celebrate and move forward together. It'll take a while, but it seems to me that it will be worth the effort. We certainly don't need further divisions and "causes" in this country that separate and alienate us from each other.

— Bill Kersting, Spencer