Dear Nations of the World
Are you a democracy needing new citizens to help you grow your country, or set it on a path of development and progress? Your timing is right! The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is being phased out and can give you a solution. Currently there are approximately 800,000 young people who are subject to release from the United States and will be looking for replacement home countries.
They will no longer need to worry 24×7 about being deported, separated from family members (both here and in their country of origin), losing a job, and being unable to attend or continue with higher education. These are all things they have worked hard to be allowed to do. Being forced to re-settle may be one of the best things that ever happened to them and to your country!
These 800,000 young people are already screened and identified. Every two years they have to pay to apply to have their “papers” renewed. This also means they have had background checks and fingerprinting. They are patient and resilient. Even when these young people have followed all the directions and submitted their papers within the limited time frame, the renewal documentation was not always finalized by the U.S. government in time. This often resulted in these young people losing their jobs, putting their higher education progress at risk, and unable to go home without risking being unable to return to work and school. Yet, they stuck with it and managed to survive until that all-important DACA renewal came.
To those countries who are interested, please know that these 800,000 young people are usually bi-lingual, have shouldered adult responsibilities, and learned how to overlook a hostile attitude towards them for something they had no control over. Most were children brought to the United States by their parents or family members.
Even in your country, you may remember growing up and your parents told you to pack up, “we’re moving.” Did you have any say in it? Did you ask, is it legal? Did you say you wouldn’t go? Of course not. You were a child and did what you were told. So did these young people.
Please open your doors and hearts and consider offering these young people an opportunity for a good job; a real job based on their credentials. DACA approval has an education requirement and chances are you will be receiving high school graduates of U.S. schools and some who have higher education. Those who managed to find their way to college in spite of the significant barriers for people with the hybrid immigration status they hold, are usually leaders in their communities, within their families, in faith communities and in volunteer organizations.
Invite some of these young people into your large international corporations. Match their skills and abilities to the needs of your country. Give them passports and visas so they can easily and legally go home to visit their families in both the U.S. and their native countries. Treasure them and give them the courtesy your country gives to displaced people who are migrating to avoid persecution in their current location or country.
Those of us, who know some of these young people and have seen their struggles, will miss them. We know that freedom is precious and now it is time for these 800,000 young people to at least have the opportunity to experience it. We also know they will have the ability to legally come back and visit us! We can truly enjoy seeing the fullness of their potential as they move out of the darkness of being undocumented, treated like criminals, or considered an “illegal alien.”
As our friends disperse to places throughout the world, it will be interesting to see the impact they have in the new home countries where they land. What will they do there that improves the lives of their fellow citizens and economies of their new nations? As they move confidently in their new lives because of things they learned growing up and being educated in the United States, a highly developed democratic country, how will they tell the story of their experiences there?
To the nations of the world. Are you listening and preparing for the opportunity?
©Debra Hadsall 2017