The Dream Act Policy. Whose Dream?
OK I just need to vent.
We’re getting ready to start doing Dream Act cases here. Which means that I’m getting ready to start doing them, since I’m the only person in this office who will do immigration work. I’m sitting here going through all of the forms that came out yesterday and re-reading the instructions, and making lists, and the 70 year old bookkeeper comes out and sticks her nose over my desk. And she has the nerve to tell me that THINGS ARE JUST TOO EASY FOR THESE PEOPLE. That “these people,” essentially people who were brought here as children by family members and most likely had no say in the fact that they were crossing the border without inspection, should not be receiving any kind of relief whatsoever.
Let’s back up a little bit.
The new Dream Act policy, as it’s being called, is a form of prosecutorial discretion or deferred action. That means that it is not a law, and even if applicants meet all of the requirements of the application, the USCIS may still decide not to approve their application—in which case, all of their information will be in the USCIS system.
This policy is bullshit. It charges these people over $400 to apply for the possibility of “deferred action,” the only benefit of which is a 2-year employment authorization, all of which can be REVOKED AT ANY TIME, WITHOUT NOTICE. Like, for example, if Mitt Romney is elected president and decided he doesn’t like it. Or any other such shenanigans.
These are people who have gone to school here or served in the military here, who have most likely grown up here, who speak English, and who may not even remember what it is like to live in another country. These are people who can make real, tangible contributions to our economy, society, and communities. These are people who are immersed in American culture and have citizen friends, families, spouses, children. So can someone please explain to me why they don’t deserve to be certain about their status? Why they don’t deserve to have a way to obtain lawful status? Why should they be jumping for joy about this fucking joke of a policy? I’m glad that there is work authorization in this for people because it will make it easier for them to get legitimate jobs with fairer pay. But I’m wary of any kind of application that explicitly states that even if you meet all of the requirements, your application can still be denied, JUST BECAUSE. Especially when said application comes with a $400+ price tag.
I’m really angry that the government is acting like they are giving people this huge GIFT, this huge WAY IN, when that is not what they’re giving at all. These people will not be granted lawful status or any of the rights that come with that. They cannot use this policy as a step toward gaining lawful status. It’s a temporary fix which will legally allow illegal immigrants to work here and pay taxes to the government. But they still don’t get any of the benefits that should come with that, like social security, or Medicaid, or state assistance, if and when they need it. They are still ineligible for most tax credits, but are required to pay taxes. They can still be taken into ICE custody and deported at any time, just for being present in the United States. This policy offers them zero protection. And from what I’ve seen of Obama’s “discretionary relief” policy in practice (which claims to require the Immigration Court to “exercise its discretion” when removing illegal immigrants who have citizen spouses and children and minor or no criminal record), I’m not very optimistic about this second discretionary policy. Because you know how many times the Immigration Court has exercised its discretion on a case that meets the Obama policy requirements in the year that I’ve worked here? ZERO. And we have had more than a few that were great candidates.
Not only did the bookkeeper tell me she thought the government was making it too easy for these people, but she went on to say it was ridiculous that children born here of illegal parent(s) automatically received citizenship.
BACK THE FUCK UP BITCH. So newborn babies, BORN IN THE UNITED STATES, should not have status if their parents don’t have status? We should deport them to a country they were not born in, and have never seen, just because.
I can’t even dignify that shit with a response. Those are my kids you’re talking about lady. My kids, innocent of any crime, who had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that their father entered this country illegally. Needless to say, when she said that, I had to shut up and look at my keyboard before I flipped the fuck out.