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Fate of 'Dreamers'

Posted September. 08, 2017 07:49,   

Updated September. 08, 2017 08:50

한국어

Jose Antonio Vargas is a former Washington Post journalist who won the Pulitzer Prize for covering the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007. He was born in the Philippines and came to the U.S. at 12 in 1993. As his mother wanted to give him a better life after divorce, he lived with his grandfather from his mother’s side. Vargas who successfully adapted himself to a new environment hears a shocking news at 16.

When he went to apply for a driver’s license with a green card, a government employee told him in a low voice, “This is fake. Don’t come back here again.” After confirm‎ing this at home, he worked hard so that others do not find that he is an illegal immigrant. After making a confession on his past in the New York Times in 2011, he created a buzz and now works as a civil activist on immigration laws.

His dramatic story is unlikely to be heard anymore going forward. U.S. President Donald Trump recently decided to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, which was introduced under the Obama administration back in 2012. DACA is an administrative order that allowed illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. with their parents and went to a school or worked for five years or more to stay in the U.S. About 800,000 people are called “Dreamers” meaning those who have an American dream and do not worry about being expelled, as intended by the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. President Trump has given the Congress six months to craft an alternative bill.

Obama criticized the decision, saying, “These Dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper. They were brought to this country by their parents, sometimes even as infants.” Tech leaders including Apple CEO Tim Cook opposed the decision to scrap the program. Some analysis showed that the decision to abolish the program would cost the U.S. economy more than 200 billion dollars. The Korean community in the U.S. is also agitated. Korea ranks sixth, or 15,000 people, in terms of numbers of illegal immigrants, following five Latin American countries. It is not right if they are abandoned by the only country that they know. Dreamers are sad as they are not accepted by the country that they love. What would be their fate in a half year?



mskoh119@donga.com