To dream or not to dream…

Phoebe Unzueta, Staff writer

There is one word looming on the mind of almost every American, but more likely everyone in the world, the word Trump. Depending on who you ask, this can either be a good or bad association, but to most it is the latter.

Since the first day of the Trump Administration, almost anyone who is not a white, straight, Christian male has been on edge. Day after day, the administration has stripped people of their basic human rights. Though what really shocked both sides of the aisle was the Trump Administration rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Policy, more commonly known as DACA or the DREAMERS Act to some.

This policy protects children under the age of sixteen who were brought into the country illegally, from deportation. DACA was enacted by President Obama in 2012 after Congress’s failure to pass the bill. It provides a two year deferment from deportation and eligibility for work permits.

Silvia Markowski, a Spanish teacher at St. Joe’s, is originally from Guatemala has had the dream story for any immigrant coming to the United States.

“I was lucky enough that my Mom was a citizen of the United States already when I came to the United States…I first became a resident right away,” she spoke as she explained her story to citizenship, “And it was due to the fact that my mother was already a citizen of the United States and then after being her for five years, I applied right away for my citizenship and now I am a citizen of the United States.”

On the other side of the spectrum is Joseph Stiso, a senior at St. Joe’s and a man proud of his Polish and Italian heritage. Like many others, Stiso believes in DACA and what it can do help others.  Stiso, in response to the illegal immigrants already in this country remarked, “Whoever is here already, if they’ve been living here and they have a life here, they shouldn’t be ripped away from their life.”

Although DACA has been terminated, there is six month period before the official end date. This period would allow Congress to pass a bill making DACA an official policy of the United States. So our elected officials are trying to do just that, with many different versions of DACA being introduced in both chambers of Congress since the start of the new administration.

Both Markowski and Stiso do support the America Hope Act of 2017 that United States Congressman Luis Gutierrez from Illinois’s 4th District has co-sponsored. This would allow immigrants who arrived before their 18th Birthday and before December 31, 2016 to apply to legal status once they meet the requirements. Once accepted they would be able to live and work legally for three years and then apply for Legal Permanent Status.

Markowski, in response to Congress passing a bill, stated, “Now Congress has to make a decision, to continue helping the Dreamers or not, but I was disappointed that he [Trump] took something that was given to them,” she expressed.

Hopefully something will be passed by both houses and signed by the President between now and the end of the six month period. Or, in what seems an unlikely circumstance, the Executive Branch will decide to reinstate the policy of allowing children that have only known the Land of the Free as their home, to stay and have a better life.