Another Voice: Dreamers: why tear families apart when it is destructive and not needed?

Over the past 25 years; while working at The Next Door, I visited families with new babies. I often met moms/dads who came to the United States from Mexico with their parents when they were young children.

These young children grew up here. Their parents came here to work in the orchards with the hopes for a better life for them and their children. Hood River Valley is the only home they know and the parents want to be able to follow their dreams as they were encouraged to do when they were growing up here in this community. Many have gotten high school diplomas, job training, education, college, jobs and have worked hard to make a good life for their children.

The Dreamers children are American citizens but have few rights if their parents are deported to Mexico. Their parents are the Dreamers that are living in fear every day that they will be deported. Their children see their parents’ fears and as a result the children cry, worry, and feel anxious and sad.

The Dreamers children are educated, speak English well, and have the same dreams their parents had who came from Mexico about 20-30 years ago. The Dreamers do not have a criminal history and have shown their successful productivity as members of the community. The Dreamers trusted the United States government by giving personal information about themselves when they signed up for DACA and now the U.S. government is using this information in looking for Dreamers to deport.

The Dreamers are a strength and asset to this community and this country. Why target them with deportation? Why tear families apart if it is destructive and NOT NEEDED! With Trump as our new president, who has stirred up a lot of fear, racism, and uncertainty, less foreigners are coming to the United States. Our orchardists are seeing fewer people come here for work.

I would like to thank Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Ron Wyden for their unwavering support of the Dreamers. Rep. Greg Walden, who grew up on an orchard in The Dalles and raised his son in Hood River, must have met some Dreamers over the years.

Does Greg have any empathy or concern for the Dreamers and their children in his district? Why does Greg and other Republicans want to tear families apart and deport the Dreamers?

Please call your representative today to express your support of a clean (no wall) Dreamers legislation! We don’t need a WALL, we need immigration reform NOW!

Nancy Johanson Paul lives in Hood River.

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