I was listening to NPR on my way to work when I heard President Trump praising the Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
They had made a deal the previous night, not only to prevent the federal government from shutting down, but also to push for the passage of legislation for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program) without linking it to building the wall between the U.S. and Mexico. At the urging of Pelosi, Trump even sent out a reassuring tweet to Dreamers.
I wondered if I were in an alternate reality. Then Trump met with Nancy and Chuck again, denying the next morning that he had made a deal with them regarding DACA. Some much for the alternate reality.
Our unpredictable, un-presidential president continues to constantly change his mind in his normal schizophrenic-like fashion.
Since 2012 the DACA program has provided recipients with protection from deportation for two years, plus renewal periods, and has allowed them to work. Today, nearly 800,000 immigrants benefit from the program. These same Dreamers now worry about their future as the clock ticks for dismantling the program in six months.
I worked as a legal and medical interpreter in northern Iowa for almost 10 years. As the interpreter coordinator at Mercy, I trained a lot of interpreters. I recall many talented bilingual young women who had no legal status or an employment future much different than their parents. Since then, many such young people have become Dreamers and have had the opportunity to study to be teachers, social workers, lawyers, doctors, and give back to their communities. They have better employment options than their parents.
Dreamers are as American as our immigrant ancestors who arrived here as children.
Kris Gannett-Sanchez, Mason City