You may say I’m a DREAMer
One key topic of the final presidential debate was immigration and the Dreamers. A ‘Dreamer’ is the label given to the immigrant youth who are affected by DACA and the DREAM Act.
Many Dreamers received temporary protection under the Obama administration, but now live in fear of deportation under the Trump administration. The ACLU said that they are unable to locate the parents of 545 children who were among the families separated at the border in 2017 and 2018. When asked about this report, Trump said, “The children are brought here by coyotes and lots of bad people… and they use them to get into our country.” He additionally stated that the children “are so well taken care of.” Meanwhile, Biden said, “Kids were ripped from their arms… and now they can’t find them...it’s criminal.” Trump continued to defend his zero tolerance immigration policies. On the other hand, Biden vowed to give a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. He said, “They’re going to be immediately certified again to stay in this country and put on a path to citizenship.” However, when asked why the Obama administration did not do more to protect them, Biden conceded that it “took too long to get it right.”
I took the liberty of asking several of my fellow classmates their opinions on immigration as it was discussed in the final debate. Josh Kreinik told me he feels that, “Trump’s policies on immigration [are a bit] extreme” and “he should allow more immigrants.” However, he stated that, “Biden’s immigration plan is too lenient; we can’t let everyone in and grant them citizenship.” Josh clearly believes that we need to find some middle ground. Meanwhile, Talia Dror says that she, “sides more with Trump’s policies on immigration. Although he may not convey his ideas so well,” she says, “his idea to put [up] a physical border is valid and in my opinion, necessary.” Another senior, Aviel Zurishaday, noted that if there is an immigrant that has, “spent time in America working as an American, and abiding by every law an American citizen follows…[they] should be on the path to citizenship.” Nevertheless, Aviel says that he, “would not trust Biden on the issue of immigration” considering “how awful it was under the Biden-Obama administration.” Finally, Jeremy Sofiev stated that “immigrants should be assessed on a case by case basis. If they are law abiding citizens that contribute to society, they should be awarded citizenship...if they are criminals and are a detriment to our society, they should be deported.” He says that Trump’s policies do not abide by this and can sometimes come off as somewhat racist. Meanwhile, “Biden is more worried about reuniting children displaced from their families at the border,” and “that’s important. Of course, “no children should be put in cages or separated from their parents, because they have no control of their situation.”
There is clearly an array of opinions amongst the class of 2021, all with very valid reasoning. We heard from both Trump and Biden about their policies during the final debate. Time will tell what will happen to the Dreamers.