800,000 kids are at risk if the DREAM Act isn’t passed
When Presidet Trump announced the end of DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – a few months ago, there was a lot of outrage. The repeal of the initiative put hundreds of thousands of children of illegal immigrants at risk for deportation. But all is not yet lost.
The DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act) has been sitting in Congress awaiting approval, and if passed, it would extend legal status to the children of undocumented immigrants. As the deadline approaches right in the midst of the Christmas season, a group of “Dreamer” kids decided to take the matter into their own hands.
On Wednesday, a bunch of children dressed as elves and marched over to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s office to sing some customized Christmas carols in an effort to remind him to approve the DREAM Act. They brought along some lumps of coal to let him know how “naughty” he is if he doesn’t.
The carols they sang featured lyrics altered to communicate their goal, and aside from some exuberant singing, they were orderly and calm. Of course, in a scene that would be alarming (OK, it’s still alarming) if it weren’t all too familiar from the past year of protests, Capitol police were called in, and they weren’t slow to retrieve their zip-ties. Zipe-tie handcuffs. To use on children.
The police even followed the children as they left the building to continue their protest outside, because it’s not enough to force them to leave the country — they also need to be intimidated!
The elves weren’t the only ones marching on Washington to try to get the DREAM Act passed. According to NBC News about two thousand immigrants showed up at the Capital on Wednesday to make their voices heard.
Wednesday, December 6th had been designation as a “national day of action,” and immigrants, religious leaders and politicans banded together to urge Congress to push through the DREAM Act to give undocumented children and teenagers the chance to get an education and survive in this country without the constant threat of deportation hanging over their heads.
The caroling kids were clearly doing their best to keep things light – as light as things can be when your entire future is at stake – by dressing their protests in the trappings of the season. The decision to leave nearly a million youngsters at risk seems especially heartless during the holidays, and these clever protesters are surely hoping their outfits and songs strike a chord with Speaker Ryan.
No one is pretending that illegal immigration and the policies surrounding it aren’t real issues. But attacking children who are here through no fault of their own is needlessly cruel, and yet another example of the Trump administration acting vindictively to undo things President Obama put in place.
Kudos to these kids for taking a stand and having a little fun with it. But when it comes to what the Republicans are cravenly doing to this country and its citizens, maybe a lump of coal isn’t punishment enough.