Three immigrants that were raised in the United States after being brought in by their parents illegally decided a risky experiment was the best way to test the current immigration laws.
They knew there was a chance that they would not gain re-entry into America if they ever left. All three of them decided to travel out of the United States, into Mexico without proper, legal documentation and attempt re-entry into the U.S under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. The policy was set in place to allow for some immigrants who were brought into the U.S as children by their parents to apply to stay in the country for the duration of two years while attempting to gain legal residency.
All three of these activists qualified for DACA but decided to put it to the test. While in Mexico they joined up with six others who had left the U.S long before the DACA policy was put into effect. Together, the group became known as “Dream 9” as they tried to reenter America without documentation, wearing caps and gowns claiming to be seeking asylum. Immigration officials detained the group. They were taken to a detention center.
All of the Dream 9 activists have been released, temporarily that is. They will be allowed to return to their respective communities until a final decision has been made. They were each given the opportunity to stand before a judge and plead their case for “fear of persecution” if forced to return to Mexico. It will be the judge’s call as to whether or not the nine will be able to stay in the Untied States their cases are still being examined. According to the report from Equal Voice, “The burden of proof is on them to convince the judge they face danger in Mexico. Some have argued that the long amounts of time they’ve spent in the United States makes them targets for organized criminals, who may believe they’re now wealthy.”
The goal of these activists was to draw attention to immigration reform for the 1.7 million people that have been deported, thousands of which were deported during the Obama administration and as one Dream 9 female stated “Those are not just 1.7 million people, those are1.7 million families, like mine.”
With or without the proper legal documentation, on a moral level these particular individuals belong here in the United States. They were raised here their families are here this is the only home they know. This is why the proper application of the DACA policy is so important, families have been torn apart, people have been sent back to countries they don’t even know.
The problem in coming up with a permanent solution for today’s immigration issues is that they may cause more severe issues in the future. Officials worry if children brought here by their parents are allowed to stay, it may encourage more families to attempt to sneak their children across the border instead of taking the proper legal steps to becoming residents of our country. The conditions in which children have been smuggled into the United States have been incredibly unsafe; there is no guarantee they would make it over here. Discouraging this kind of behavior is a big part of what is hoped immigration reform will end.
This post was created for the O’Brien Law Group.