Repealing DACA Is Normalizing Hate

Repealing DACA Is Normalizing Hate

Trump has just proven himself to be the racist, anti-immigration person he denies being - at the expense of innocent lives.
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The DACA program, which protected undocumented children that were brought into America before the age of 16, has been, of course, declared to be over by the Trump administration. Congress has all but vowed to save it in a almost unusual display of bipartisanship that we don't see much of these days. As with anything that has the words “illegal” and “immigrant,” many completely support the idea of literally deporting children from the only country they know – including Trump and A.G. Jeff Sessions, because of course they do. However, contrary to what the alt-right news sources are talking about when it comes to DACA, the people who are in the program are not living off the state, nor are they just here for a free ride – they're mostly on the path of citizenship, and those who aren't haven't been here long enough to be able to.

DACA, or the Dreamer program, was established by Barack Obama so that in a court of law, a child who really had no say in whether the family would enter the country illegally wouldn't be able to be arrested or deported for undocumented immigration. Strict requirements were put in place, such as an annual fee of five hundred dollars, the recipient must be working and paying taxes if of age, they must have absolutely clear criminal records – basically, they have to be upstanding model citizens. One may ask “well if they care so much to do all that to stay here, why can't they just pay the money and fill out the form to be a citizen?” In actuality, getting citizenship isn't as easy as it sounds. To qualify, one must be eighteen years of age or older, have lived here on a green card for at least five years, have not left the country for more than thirty months over the last five years, complete several interviews and tests – and that's just the main requirements, not including the fees and costs for every step. And that's where the DACA comes into play – children who immigrated here illegally are not considered 100% “illegal,” as they had no say in the ordeal. So using a program that essentially documents them as all but official green card holders, people are able to get documentation that can be used to apply for a green card, and thus citizenship.

Donald Trump said not that long ago that he “love[s] the Dreamers,” then he goes and cuts the program simply because of his hatred for Obama and racism. In the announcement, Jeff Sessions went on and said that the Dreamers were “taking jobs” from real Americans and, while never actually saying he and Trump consider them enemies of the state, it was heavily implied. Consider that Trump says he is the “law and order President” and told the NYPD to be more “rough” on their patrols, it really won't surprise me if we start to see ICE bursting into schools to arrest children because their parents illegally entered America. That is unlikely, but really, don't be shocked. It is not below these people to order armed arrests of children who, as I keep repeating, had no real idea what their families were doing was illegal. Trump and Sessions cannot claim this isn't because of racism, due to the ways in which Sessions spoke about these people. And as with most of the administration's removals and cuts to programs, this was done because Obama did it and Trump hates Obama just because he is black, successful, and more liked than Trump has been or ever will be. The Trump's-a-racist card isn't as farfetched as it seems, due to several court cases in which Trump or his companies have been sued for not renting property to nonwhite people, and the “Obama birther conspiracy” that was promoted by Trump himself. Once again, we have an administration running on hatred and white nationalism, not doing their job and actually thinking like rational people.

What we need is an easier pathway to citizenship. The Dreamer program should stay, but it should also include an internal system to allow these recipients to be able to get their citizenship as quickly as possible – as well as fixing the current system to allow the parents to get theirs too. The tests are designed to prove the potential citizens have the same basic knowledge as most of America does and in reality, they know a lot more. Maybe that should be a requirement to get a state ID of any form – take the citizenship test and pass. How can people come into the country and get citizenship if they don't work to have the money and life they desire? How can people be opposed to innocent, unknowing children being protected from being prosecuted? Racism is part of it, but ignorance of what it takes to be a naturalized American citizen is just as much of a problem.

The removal of the Dreamer program proves the racism and white nationalist views of the White House, especially with having Jeff Sessions, who was barred from being a federal judge due to his racist views on non-whites during the 1980s, making the announcement. Meanwhile, Trump says it's up to Congress on whether the program stays, as if to make it sound like he's trying to make Congress do their job – which if that were the case, he would have come right out and said it, not send one of his yes men to call taxpayers and even veterans “criminals” because of something they had no control over. If DACA is removed, then expect to explain to your kids why their friend was hauled out of school by men with guns and why children are dying in nations they never knew because their family had to escape the horrors. You cannot, and should not, blame children for what their parents did, especially young children who were brought across the border to have a better life. This isn't a matter of illegal and legal, nor is it a political thing where “oh well a Republican said the program is wrong so it's wrong, just let the kids die, let the kids see their friends being threatened with death, and let five-year-olds be treated as criminals because they don't know they aren't a citizen of a nation founded by men who illegally took the land.” That is not America. That's the first step to another Holocaust, and honestly, with a man who refused to call out neo-Nazis using his name and supporting him in the highest office in the land, true patriots may be being arrested for hiding enemies of the state.

Cover Image Credit: CNN

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

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Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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Dear Nancy Pelosi, 16-Year-Olds Should Not Be Able To Vote

Because I'm sure every sixteen year old wants to be rushing to the voting booth on their birthday instead of the BMV, anyways.

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Recent politicians such as Nancy Pelosi have put the voting age on the political agenda in the past few weeks. In doing so, some are advocating for the voting age in the United States to be lowered from eighteen to sixteen- Here's why it is ludicrous.

According to a study done by "Circle" regarding voter turnout in the 2018 midterms, 31% of eligible people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted. Thus, nowhere near half of the eligible voters between 18 and 29 actually voted. To anyone who thinks the voting age should be lowered to sixteen, in relevance to the data, it is pointless. If the combination of people who can vote from the legal voting age of eighteen to eleven years later is solely 31%, it is doubtful that many sixteen-year-olds would exercise their right to vote. To go through such a tedious process of amending the Constitution to change the voting age by two years when the evidence doesn't support that many sixteen-year-olds would make use of the new change (assuming it would pass) to vote is idiotic.

The argument can be made that if someone can operate heavy machinery (I.e. drive a car) at sixteen, they should be able to vote. Just because a sixteen-year-old can (in most places) now drive a car and work at a job, does not mean that they should be able to vote. At the age of sixteen, many students have not had fundamental classes such as government or economics to fully understand the political world. Sadly, going into these classes there are students that had mere knowledge of simple political knowledge such as the number of branches of government. Well, there are people above the age of eighteen who are uneducated but they can still vote, so what does it matter if sixteen-year-olds don't know everything about politics and still vote? At least they're voting. Although this is true, it's highly doubtful that someone who is past the age of eighteen, is uninformed about politics, and has to work on election day will care that much to make it to the booths. In contrast, sixteen-year-olds may be excited since it's the first time they can vote, and likely don't have too much of a tight schedule on election day, so they still may vote. The United States does not need people to vote if their votes are going to be uneducated.

But there are some sixteen-year-olds who are educated on issues and want to vote, so that's unfair to them. Well, there are other ways to participate in government besides voting. If a sixteen-year-old feels passionate about something on the political agenda but can't vote, there are other ways of getting involved. They can canvas for politicians whom they agree with, or become active in the notorious "Get Out The Vote" campaign to increase registered voter participation or help register those who already aren't. Best yet, they can politically socialize their peers with political information so that when the time comes for all of them to be eighteen and vote, more eighteen-year-olds will be educated and likely to vote.

If you're a sixteen-year-old and feel hopeless, you're not. As the 2016 election cycle approached, I was seventeen and felt useless because I had no vote. Although voting is arguably one of the easiest ways to participate in politics, it's not the only one. Since the majority of the current young adult population don't exercise their right to vote, helping inform them of how to stay informed and why voting is important, in my eyes is as essential as voting.

Sorry, Speaker Pelosi and all the others who think the voting age should be lowered. I'd rather not have to pay a plethora of taxes in my later years because in 2020 sixteen-year-olds act like sheep and blindly vote for people like Bernie Sanders who support the free college.

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