The Dreamers are not property.
Why does this sound like a statement from the times around the U.S. Civil War?
It could’ve been uttered for those Native Americans in the West who defined their beliefs as that of dreamers, valuing the power of vision. They proclaimed themselves “the real people” so it would be most fitting to recall them since the current Dreamer question is a real test of our humanity.
It could’ve been said of the African Americans who struggled under the inhuman oppression of slavery, even if the word “dreamer” was spoken disparagingly by someone who – in some deluded sense of altruism – still saw them as inferior.
The Dreamers are not property, some means to treat as gambling chips.
This might even have been stated of the many immigrants from Europe & their children who ended up indentured, many times under total control of some unprincipled profit-seeker until adulthood, left then with only a suit or a dress as a payment for so many years of intense labor.
Most people today recognize that to forcibly remove a human being or to keep them from a healthy relation to their environment is a violation of the dignity of life, with its innate freedom.
Frederick Douglass taught me the legality of this when he wrote that the only humane grounds to restrict someone’s freedom of movement – whether it is to keep them restrained or to displace them – is that of crime.
Some argue that the sanctity of Dreamers’ rights in regards to property is that we’re here illegally.
We were brought here.
Consider who else in U.S. history could state this plainly.
I have learned of millions brought here “legally” in grave crimes against humanity… should we dismiss our reality as Dreamers as being illegal so blindly?
If a child is raised in a home that was – to their ignorance – stolen, should that child, on growing up with the capacity to care for that home, be treated as a thief?
With that logic it is disturbing to think of America’s past.
I know of a great vast home that was in a big part stolen.
Should we be charged with such crime & return this land?
To whom? The descendants of those it was taken from?
Wait… aren’t them the same people who are in many cases dying to reenter this country across the border?
I hope you will forgive my ignorant guess but the matter truly begs to question.
Borders have a purpose.
Perhaps if we understood their essence we could respect the thin line between the free range of our action and that same capacity equally in others.
Are we free to the degree that we can own another person? Free to conquer nature to the point we rob others?
The U.S. has a big footprint in the world. We need to take responsibility!
As a Dreamer, I support plans for better border security but not because I feel the lack of it is the reason of my injustice – like having no work permit – in the place I grew up in & love. People migrate because of instability, conflict & natural disasters. Given the role of the U.S. in the world, perhaps we should reflect on our influence on migration. Border security is important & can even be an expression of such mature reflection – given that it doesn’t violate the land rights of native tribes.
Many people die attempting to cross those deserts. Should we just leave them there to suffer?
A stronger presence there would allow us to greet those desperately seeking refuge. This doesn’t mean people can just enter the country as they please.
America is a land of innovation. And just like we take responsibility at the global level to welcome the world’s nations to build communities based on the highest ideals, the world’s nations should share the responsibility to care for refugees here. Where people go from the border should be taken care of regionally. There are plenty of issues in the Earth that require willing participation and energy.
Could we not work together internationally to offer refugees somewhere to work? Initiatives to protect and regenerate environmental resources are a prime example: like the marine life from the Gulf of Mexico that supplies over 40% of our seafood being threatened by oil spills and industrial pollution; this area is surrounded by diverse cultures and countries, we can definitely pool our wisdom to offer those who have left everything behind seeking refuge the dignity to be part of improving our shared ecosystem.
An urban example, pioneered by Jane Addams, Chicago’s historic Hull House pooled immigrants’ diverse contributions to pioneer work like sewer improvements & many other social services.
Some would laugh off the idea of a kind of settlement house in the border as unusual or naive, but I doubt those who have won the rights of citizens would take this lightly or hesitate to take the lead in such endeavor. They or their parents know first hand the line between wh a Addams called “over-accumulation and desperation”. And if nothing else it goes to show that there are real ways to challenge the problem creatively. It would just take a strong enough sense of humanity.
However, the notion that the lack of a wall or link migration is the cause of the Dreamer dilemma is just nonsense.
The U.S., together with Russia, has so many nuclear weapons that the whole world is practically stuck in war without resolution. And we contribute largely to environmental degradation and toxic waste. The popular perspective on immigration would be as if, in my parents’ beloved neighborhood in Pembroke Pines FL, I would let my dog poop in the neighbor’s lawn & then wonder why they come to have their family picnics in my lot.
In this light, it would seem that DACA is indeed quite closely linked to financial spending, especially on military affairs.
Disparity between rich & poor, which also affects migration, is not because there isn’t enough capacity on Earth, it is because we are at war, & in it some profit off of others’ defeat and dependency.
At peace, with tools like the regenerative agro-ecology practiced by Ernst Gotsch, each of our homes throughout Earth can prosper. Instead, we hold all in a chokehold of nuclear deterrence & business that puts profit over people. Think of all the great changes that can happen locally with international support if more funds went to creative endeavors that move society in the direction of peace.
Although we view it differently, we are all trying to protect the dignity of life, even the most confused or apparently opposed to us.
It takes the good faith of the strong to create a safe space where we may reinterpret our perspectives, broaden and deepen our values until the dignity of life is respected anew.
How could we stand by idly?
They say there are around 800K registered Dreamers in the U.S.
Young people eager to build peace as global citizens.
There are also around 800K federal workers who suffer from a government shutdown.
If we cannot protect the most vulnerable, we should question indeed what are we all working for?
Should we neglect the effects of our far-reaching impact and the internal causes of our manifold challenges, then there would be no use in securing Dreamers’ path towards citizenship. I love my home in the Florida Everglades because in it I find an indomitable hope for the future. I act with the consciousness of a citizen and seek those rights because I believe that with them I can better repay my debt of gratitude for the great treasure of life we’ve inherited. I for one will not gain the protection of DACA at the expense of those humanistic values that makes the United States somewhere truly worth fighting for. The dignity of the individual could never be apart from that of all people and the environment that supports them; what does it mean to protect one’s rights if it is to harm others?
But there must be no need for a shutdown!
The purpose of government is to protect people’s most basic human rights.
We youth dream of building a stronger America, a stronger world.
The right to work, to travel, access health care & study widely will enable us to work towards that end, which is the government’s purpose.
800K of us are eager to work alongside you, to continue your work into the future.
With time we will secure the foundation for enduring reform.
This is the first step.
We trust that our shared victory will fulfill the original promise of America for humanity and the world.