I’ll concede that it is at least theoretically possible for a person to exist who is strongly in favor of the expulsion of all illegal immigrants from the United States who is not also intrinsically racist. I suspect that these creatures are, if not entirely chimerical, exceedingly rare but even if they do exist their philosophical and ideological arguments are not to be found anywhere in the current debate.
I will not concede that it is theoretically possible for a person to exist who is even passively in favor of ending DACA who is not deeply, fundamentally, intractably racist to the bone.
That, of course, is precisely what our disgusting racist-in-chief (whose wife’s immigration status is very much an open question, by the way) is planning to do sometime this week. Worse yet, judging from his words (“You know, I love these kids,“), I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even understand that the Dreamers are, for the most part, not “kids” today. They’re grown people who were brought here as kids, which means he may very well think he’s talking about deporting actual children.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, established by the Obama administration in 2012, is an acknowledgement that if you were brought here as a child and grew up here, went to school here, got a job here—you are an American. You are culturally American. America is your home. The place you were brought from is not your home and sending you back makes about as much sense as sending you to any random nation on earth.
If that’s a thing you think we should do—send Americans to, basically, a random place just to get them off our shores—you are a vile and irredeemable racist whose chief concern can only be to get as many non-white people as far away from you as possible. You are also, by the way, in the minority.
Listen, racists, I know it’s hard for you to understand how a brown, undocumented 28-year old isn’t an “illegal immigrant.” It requires you to think (already we’re in trouble) a couple steps beyond the visceral feeling that she is taking your country, stealing your job, getting handouts that might otherwise be added to your government check, etc. It requires understanding that she might have been brought here when she was three, six, nine or twelve years old and that the United States of America is thus, for all intents and purposes, the only place she really knows. She is not a Mexican or a Somalian or a Bosnian or a Canadian (hahaha, let’s be honest and admit that you’re not really worried about them). She is an American. There is nowhere to send her “back” to.
And let me just quickly address the very stupid argument that somehow older “Dreamers,” by which I mean kids who were brought here in their teenage years, are somehow less sympathetic—an argument that is in line with the increasingly common, cruel and unusual practice of charging some minors as adults when they commit particularly heinous crimes.
I have a simple test I like to apply in these cases: tell me how old your daughter should be before it would be okay for a 54-year old man—Johnny Depp, let’s say—to have sex with her without facing legal troubles. That’s the age at which you can go ahead and charge kids as adults and hold child border crossers culpable for their decisions. If Johnny Depp is allowed to fuck your 12-year old daughter, you can absolutely kick Mexicans out of the country who came to America when they were 12.
Prior to that age (which you’ll undoubtedly place somewhere in the 18-21 range) children are the shared responsibility of all good and decent adult people on earth. Wanting to punish adults for what happened to them as children makes you a disgusting and savage person. If time travel were possible, maybe you’d be fighting for your own DACA to avoid being sent back to whatever prehistoric swamp you’ve barely yet crawled out of.