Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Why I Chose to Get Arrested for Dreamers

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Why I Chose to Get Arrested for Dreamers

Article excerpt

On Feb. 27, I got arrested on Capitol Hill at the National Catholic Day of Action with Dreamers. My arrest was an expression of solidarity with "Dreamers" who face arrest and deportation if Congress or the president does not do something to protect their legal status.

Dreamers were brought to this country as children by their parents. These children have grown up in this country gone to school and church here, learned English, and are as much a part of America as someone born here.

To say that they broke the law and should be punished would be like prosecuting a baby in a stroller when its mother shoplifts diapers at Walmart.

This crisis was created by the Trump administration in September when it announced plans to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which had been put into place by President Barack Obama. DACA allowed an estimated 780,000 Dreamers to stay temporarily in this country, and work and go to school without fear of arrest and deportation.

Because of their DACA status, many of them were already contributing with their military service. Others are teachers, health care employees or workers who serve our country in other productive ways. If they lose DACA, they could be deported, which would be tragic for them and a loss for our nation.

The American people by a ratio of 2-to-1 favor granting legal status to Dreamers. Even 51 percent of Republicans support this, according to the National Opinion Research Center.

Rather than doing what is good for these children and the country Republican leaders have played politics, trying to use the Dreamers as a bargaining chip to get Congress to pay for Donald Trump's wall along our southern border and to make radical changes in our immigration laws.

What we need is legal protection for Dreamers and a path to citizenship. …

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