Dreaming with and for the “Dreamers”
The intent of the Trump Administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is cause for much concern – actually alarm. University presidents from throughout the United States have observed, including Mason President Ángel Cabrera, that the end of DACA will have a very negative impact – in fact a devastating impact. President Cabrera, in a message to the Mason university community (https://www2.gmu.edu/news/446456), commented that the end of the DACA program “will have dramatic implications for thousands of college students, including many at Mason, and will ultimately have a negative impact on our society and economy.” I concur.
Like our university’s president, I too fear for the more than 800,000 young adults that have only known the United States as their home and have benefited from DACA. In addition to thousands of “dreamers” who attend colleges and universities, and others who are employed in communities throughout the nation, this “political pivot” also eventually will affect many thousands more students in our public schools. Certainly, this shift from compassion and caring to the expediency of seeking to score “political” and ideological driven points will further divide an already polarized nation.
It is time for all of us, especially those who are members of the community of educators, to exhibit what the president of the Ford Foundation, Darren Walker, has called “moral courage.” It is time to take a stand – not to remain seated. To stand up for what we believe. Together, we must be on the “right side of history.”
Where is the value for ending DACA? What benefit will result from the disruption of lives and the breaking-up of families or the further polarization of our communities?
Over the coming months, as the Congress debates the ultimate future of DACA, with the lives of thousands in the balance, I will stand with our students and I will stand with others who have been the beneficiaries of DACA.
I will dream with and for the dreamers.
Let us not allow our dreams, and more importantly their dreams, to be only fantasy. Compassion and caring once again must be our national reality. I invite you to dream with me – while advocating actively, through participation in our democracy, so that our dreams will come true for the benefit of so many. The “dreamers” deserve, and need, our support.