politics

EXPLAINER: Who are 'The Dreamers', and why are they the target of Trump's latest cruelty?

‘The Dreamers’ were brought to America by parents who dreamed of a brighter future. They were, on average, six-and-a-half-years-old.

Now they’re in their 20s. There are over 800,000 of them. They’re part of a generation of immigrants who have been raised alongside U.S. citizens, growing up speaking English and following baseball. And as of September 5, they all face the uneasy prospect of deportation.

Listen to Mia Freedman give a one-minute explainer of who ‘The Dreamers’ really are, on Tell Me It’s Going To Be Okay. Post continues after audio.

Trump announced, via Twitter, on September 5th 2017, an end to the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program.

DACA protected 800,000 young adults, the average age of which is 26, who were brought into America illegally as children. Most of them arrived in the 1990s and early 2000s, when U.S immigration increased the security of the US/Mexico border. Unauthorised immigrants who were engaging in regular risky border-crossings, most of whom were working-aged men, settled their families permanently in the United States.

And with that, a generation of ‘Dreamers’ was born.

Obama, in 2012, announced the DACA program; one which essentially allowed ‘Dreamers’ who met a certain criteria to apply for ‘deferred action’, meaning the US Government would promise not to deport them for two years. They were also permitted to work legally.

“By paying $500 every two years to get a DACA permit, The Dreamers are able to work, pay taxes, and sleep soundly at night knowing they would be safe from the ugly risk of deportation,” Mia Freedman says in the latest episode of the Tell Me It’s Going To Be OK podcast.

“Their families are in America. Their lives are in America… they work in every industry, and they live in every city.”

Political journalist Sara James agrees. “There’s a lot of sympathy for these ‘Dreamers’,” she says. “If you send them back, they wouldn’t necessarily speak the language of the country they came from. They wouldn’t know it.”

Listen to the full episode of Tell Me It’s Going To Be OK, below. 

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