By Victor Rodriguez | Contributor
"DACA" and "Dreamers" are two phrases that have been thrown around a lot; many people have been asking what these phrases mean.
As a Mexican American, these words carry a lot of weight and a lot of importance. But, before I can dive into how much this means to me, we must understand what these phrases are in the context of the United States.
According to The Guardian, "DACA is a federal government program created in 2012 under Barack Obama to allow people brought to the US illegally as children the temporary right to live, study and work in America. Those applying are vetted for any criminal history or threat to national security and must be students or have completed school or military service. If they pass vetting, action to deport them is deferred for two years, with a chance to renew, and they become eligible for basics like a driving license, college enrollment or a work permit." 'Dreamers' are people under this program; they're called Dreamers because DACA was derived from President Obama's Dream Act.
For a lot of these Dreamers, this is the only country they know; this is the place they call home. For others, this is the country that they are forever grateful for, the country that has fed and clothed them. For many now, this has become the country that has yet to accept them. The Dreamers are an amazing group of people; they're kids who came and now want to continue to educate themselves and better the economy by working and being a productive person in society.
When I heard that President Trump wanted to cut this program and possibly deport all these people, I was, as the young people say, shook. I couldn't understand why he would want to stop these people from bettering America. Now, many might say they aren't Americans and don't deserve to be given this opportunity, but for many, this is all they know. Trump is getting ready to send people to a country they haven't been in since they were kids.
This news came at a heavy time in our country. Texas was feeling the aftereffects of Hurricane Harvey, and Irma was well on the way. Around campus, everyone was saying, 'pray for those who are affected by the hurricane,' yet I felt everyone was oblivious to the tragedy that had just happened with Trump's announcement.
Although I may not be a DACA student, I have family who are. Many of my friends are affected by this, and a lot of young adults in my neighborhood in Chicago are affected. Being on campus when all of this was going on, I was mad. I wanted to be in Chicago, I wanted to protest, I wanted to feel heard in the midst of silence.
Of course, my heart goes out to the people affected by the hurricane, but what about the people affected by DACA? People seem to forget that this policy affects real people in this country and on this campus. I just hope that Taylor's campus can see the good this policy did and can see the bad in ending it. These people have stories, ambitions and love to make this country great again.