By Scholten4Iowa | Wednesday Sep 06, 2017
“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.That’s how I saw it, and see it still.” This quote belongs to Ronald Reagan from his farewell address on January 11, 1989.
I disagree with former President Reagan on many issues but I respect him for having the same vision that I have when it comes to this shining city. At the root of this country is the American Dream, with it’s perpetual lining of hope. That’s why my ancestors came here in the 19th and early 20th century. That’s why the parents of the Dreamers came here.
Let’s look at the statistics. There are about 800,000 registered Dreamers. 97% percent of them are either in school or employed. At least 75% of the largest companies in the U.S. employ someone identified as DACA. The U.S. stands to lose an estimated $460.3 billion from the national GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions in the next 10 years (https://dreamers.fwd.us/business-leaders). What will it cost to face the inevitable numerous legal challenges that will come about as a result of this action? What will it cost to round up and deport 800,000 young people? And what will the effect of losing 750,000 workers do to our economy?
Because I value our economy, I stand for DACA.
It’s been nearly 2 years since Pope Francis addressed a joint Congress urging us to embrace immigrants from Latin America and around the world. He said:
“We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation.
To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’”
I listened to many of their stories yesterday while joining them for a protest in Sioux City, Iowa, and the fear and uncertainty some of these young people are going through is heartbreaking. Just imagine for a minute being sent away from the only home you’ve ever known.
Because I am a Christian, I stand for DACA.
People want to blame these kids and young adults, their parents, the lack of a secured border, or the employers that pay their parents. But since President Obama initiated DACA, these 800,000 Dreamers stepped forward and registered with our government because they were told they would not face deportation. They were brought to the country as children. They are our friends, our neighbors, and productive members of our community. In order to register for DACA, participants had to be in school or have graduated from high school and not committed a felony or serious misdemeanor.
The bottom line is that they are here; we told them that we would protect them and that it is safe for them to come out of the shadows. Even President Trump shortly after his inauguration said that DACA recipients “shouldn’t be very worried… I do have a big heart. We’re going to take care of everybody.”
Because I too have a heart, I stand for DACA.
As a nation, we must fulfill our promise to these young people. I call on Congress to pass a bill that allows DACA enrollees to stay! Economically, and more importantly morally, it’s the right thing to do.