Editorial: The university has kind words but no action for DREAMers on campus

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Morgan Brownell/THE REVIEW

DREAMers have not committed any crime. They have not harmed our country and they are not foreign aliens stealing our jobs and living off welfare. On the contrary, DREAMers are one of our country’s most valued human resources and they work every bit as hard as natural-born Americans as they seek to build a life in this great country.

These men and women form every bit as much an integral part of this university as they do of this nation.

DREAMers had no choice in coming to this country. When they were infants, toddlers or young children their parents made the decision to make the perilous journey across the border in order to seek a better life for their children. These parents and the children they brought with them suffered the inhospitable and dangerous path through the desert and often swimming across the swift Rio Grande that threatens to pull poor swimmers under its watery depths. The parents did this in order for their children to grow up in an area that was not ravaged by the drug-fueled warfare of the cartels in Mexico and Central America.

They had no choice when they were brought here. A six-year-old has no choice in where their parents bring them. But once these children were here they grew up as Americans. Their friends are American. Their spouses are American. Their lives are, and will always be, American.

This is the way of our country stretching back to its earliest roots. The first colonials fled their home countries in Europe seeking to build a better life for their children. These settlers were English, German, Irish, Scottish, Spanish, Swedish, Dutch, French and of many other origins. They founded what many consider the greatest country in the world in 1776.

Once this nation was established, immigration did not just continue, but accelerated dramatically. Germans settled the midwest, the Irish settled New England, Chinese and Japanese came to the west coast, and a variety of immigrants from Eastern Europe and Africa traveled here once the first immigration laws opened up the process in the decades after the Civil War.

This nation is founded on immigration and the diversity of ideas. These varied experiences have driven American innovation, the growth of small business and have acted as a cornerstone of the United States over its history.

Closer to home, the idea of a university is built on diversity as an intersection of different ways of life. This is why it is disturbing that our university has taken so little action in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and its constituent DREAMers in the face of a looming federal abolition of the program.

It is true that the university recently sent an email to students expressing support for the plight of DREAMers who are facing betrayal from the federal government. However, nowhere in this email was a plan of action. The university frequently has kind words at the ready for marginalized groups on campus who are threatened. Less frequently have those kind words ever been accompanied by time and effort to change the status quo.

President Assanis, heed this ancient adage: Actions speak louder than words.

Editorials are developed by The Review staff, led this week by Investigative Editor Jacob Orledge who can be reached at orledgej@udel.edu.

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