This is for all of those who are uneducated when it comes to this topic, those who have no problem voicing their opinion, even if they couldn't be further from the truth. If you are one of the people I used as an example, I blocked out your names and pictures to save you from the embarrassment. As they say, the highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you know nothing about so I'm taking it upon myself to enlighten you all with facts. You're welcome.
1. “Who are they?”
DREAMers also referred to as DACA recipients, are those who were a part of the immigration policy that allows individuals who entered the country as minors protection from deportation, eligibility to work and go to school.
2. “Deport these criminals!”
In order to even qualify for DACA, you must go through an extensive background check. So contrary to popular belief, 100% of recipients have NO criminal record. It is a requirement to go through biometrics and renew your background check every 2 years. In addition to a clean record, you must have a high school diploma or must be in working towards one.
3. “I’m tired of these illegals living off my taxes!”
NO Dreamer is living off of your tax money, Dreamers are not eligible to receive any type of government aid. In fact, they contribute to the economy and pay upwards of two billion dollars in taxes every year. Dreamers even pay nearly $500 every two years for DACA renewals, so they pay hundreds of dollars just to have the ability to continue contributing to the economy. So perhaps think of it like this, if you have ever received any government assistance, a dreamer has contributed to that.
4. “They are stealing our jobs!”
NOBODY can steal a job you don’t qualify for, nobody can steal a job you haven’t applied for and most importantly nobody can steal a job you don’t want. Sorry to break it to you, Dreamers are not responsible for you being unhappy with your career status.
5. “If they work so hard, why are don’t they work towards becoming citizens?”
To keep it simple, there is currently no pathway to citizenship available for DACA recipients.
6. “I was born here of American parents and wanted to go to college more than anything in the world. But we could not afford it -- My daughter and grandaughter owe student loans. Why do they get to go for free just by the virtue of being here unknowingly illegal?”
Just to go off what Mark said, Dreamers are not eligible to receive any government aid including any federally funded student financial aid. American citizens have far more opportunities when it comes to college and financial aid, there are endless resources available to help you work towards a degree. In addition to no federal aid, many universities even require DACA recipients to pay out-of-state tuition, making it nearly double the price to go to college. So before you go on a tangent on how these individuals are taking your opportunities and resources, educate yourself.
7. "How do you know all of this?!"
I think I should cite my source and in this case, I am my source. I know all of this first hand. I refuse to live in the shadows and I will continue to work hard. I'm Thauani Oliveira, I'm a senior at the University of Houston, and I am a Dreamer and I'm no longer afraid. Overall, I'm not, nor is any other Dreamer, the blame for your problems.