Protecting the dream

Protecting the dream

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If there’s one lesson that emerged in the last nine months of political turmoil, it’s the importance of recognizing intersectionality. LGBT issues impact women’s issues. Women’s issues impact racial-justice issues. Racial-justice issues impact immigration issues. All of these movements are intertwined, and all of them are being threatened. As such, all of them must work together.

When the Affordable Care Act was on the chopping block, it wasn’t just those who have insurance because of the program who spoke out and lobbied their lawmakers; family, friends and neighbors who knew a loved one could be devastated by the gutting of the plan rallied against the move. White allies raised their voices in chorus with black and brown people who decried the racism abounding in debates over Confederate statues. When the administration sanctioned discrimination against trans students, LGB and heterosexual students, teachers and more blasted the decision.

Now, it’s young immigrants whose lives the Trump administration is looking to disrupt. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced this week that the administration is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — which protects young adults who were brought to this country illegally as children and who have been hardworking, law-abiding residents. Apart from ceasing to process any new DACA applications, the move puts nearly 800,000 DREAMers, those who have already enrolled in the program, in jeopardy, many of whom fear deportation from the only country they’ve ever known.

As part of the DACA program, participants cannot have a criminal record. The vast majority of the young adults enrolled are pursuing higher education, have successful careers, are contributing to their communities; they’re the type of people who make America “great.”

Except for one thing: They don’t fit the white-male mold that is of the utmost importance to the Trump administration.

The rollback of DACA is rooted in racism, plain and simple. Trump is playing to the worst of his base, whose attention he successfully captivated during the campaign with pledges to build a wall to keep out Mexicans and to round up and register Muslims.

Like the fights for LGBT, women’s, racial and other rights, this is an issue that affects all of us. Broad federal policies that originate in hatred are not part of the America most of us have ever known, or could ever want.

Make calls to lawmakers, organize or attend rallies, share articles based in truth. Even if you don’t know a DREAMer, or even an undocumented immigrant, their story is your — and our — story.

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