Voice of the People DACA Response

[Voice of the People response piece sent to the Akron Beacon Journal]

In the September 10, 2017 edition of the Akron Beacon Journal, Doug Brown puts forth some “suggestions” for adult Dreamers who are currently being protected by DACA. Unfortunately, Mr. Brown’s letter is replete with poor reasoning and not a few factual errors.

In his letter, Mr. Brown states that it is “Heartbreaking to think of kids being deported for crimes committed by their parents” while at the same time reminding us not to forget “that the parents did commit crimes by illegally entering the United States”. It seems clear that Mr. Brown is conflating the wrong done by the parents, as if it was a wrong done by the children. He doubles down on this dubious reasoning when he notes that “they chose to come here, albeit illegally”. Given the average age of the Dreamers was six when they arrived, it is doubtful any of them “chose” to come here.

In addition to misplacing the blame and punishing Dreamers for actions beyond their control, he also appears to have a distorted view of the Dreamers themselves. While he calls for them to serve in the armed forces as a path to citizenship, he seems oblivious to the fact that Dreamers have served and are currently serving in the armed forces. He also is unaware that Dreamers do speak our language, have attended our schools, and learned our history. The “heartbreaking” part of deporting these kids/young adults is that they are for all intents and purposes Americans potentially being forced to a country that is now alien to them.

Furthermore, Mr. Brown wants to make sure that Dreamers are fully committed to the only country they have ever known, by renouncing any other citizenship. Yet it is unclear why Dreamers should have to do this, as 1) the oath of allegiance naturalized citizens must take already includes the phrase “renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen.” and, paradoxically, 2) the U.S. State Department does not require naturalized citizens to renounce any other citizenship they may have.

Finally, Mr. Brown mentions how the Christian side of him seeks to help others (presumably the Dreamers), but only if they are willing to “give back to their country of choice” by doing as he did and serve in the military. I did not realize that one’s Christian Here again, I am not sure how the U.S. was the country of choice for the Dreamers as they had no say in coming here. That being said, Christ was pretty clear about what one’s duty is to others, and it has nothing to do with compulsory military service: ’For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; (Matthew 25:35).

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