Issues Under Fire: “45”: The Undocumented’s Nightmare
When “45” rolled back the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), one of many Obama era efforts to offer hope for a pathway to U.S. citizenship, they had to know DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals would not protect their kids either. Now being used as pawns in a game of politics, these are essentially stateless people watching a dream turn into a nightmare. This is not a pretty story.
If you look up the definition of stateless, you’ll find it means to be a person without a country. To be stateless is to be a person with no legal right to be anyplace on earth. You have no right to work, go to school or even stand on a public street corner to beg for something to eat. You are a nobody. A nothing. Many undocumented immigrants who find themselves hiding in America are just that. Stateless. Most can’t return from whence they came for a host of horrid reasons, but they can’t stay here. The undocumented, along with their children, are currently being told in no uncertain terms, you are not wanted. Just GTFO.
It’s difficult for many to understand what life is like living as an undocumented person in America, so we’ll give you a clue. The undocumented live like fugitives on the run, because they’re literally fugitives from the law. The undocumented are constantly on the lookout for law enforcement because law enforcement is constantly on the lookout for them. If you’re Brown skinned and speak with an accent, you could be questioned by the authorities at anytime. You could be pointed out by merciless zealots of deportation. You could find yourself on a plane or a bus to a place you no longer know (if you ever did), and a culture you don’t understand, and maybe never will.
As an undocumented in America, a man can be robbed and a woman can be raped, but neither can call a cop. The undocumented can be exploited by unscrupulous employers and taken advantage of by slumlords, but they can’t complain. They have to drive without a license or auto insurance. They have to carry false documents and hope no one pays too close attention. It is a stressful life. Yet they live it because they have no choice.
Much is made about “The Talk” African American parents have with their children about how they should behave if they’re ever confronted by the police. One can only imagine the conversation the undocumented parent must have with their kids before sending them off to school. They can’t be a good student, they have to be a great student. They can’t get into trouble, they can’t bring undue attention to themselves, but most importantly, they can never divulge their legal status to anyone. For those who do, they can be tracked down, detained and thrown out.
Bottom line: If one takes the time to fully understand what it means to exist as an undocumented person in the United States, one would understand the dire straits the undocumented are trying to escape. No matter how badly they’re treated by Americans who want them out, they still feel it’s better to live like a dog in America, than to die like a dog where they came from. America should be ashamed, but it’s not. Podcast below.