Chapter 5: Dreaming Citizenship
DREAMers definition from Dictionary.com
Dream·er /ˈdrēmər/ noun
plural noun: dreamers; plural noun: DREAMers
- a person who dreams or is dreaming.
- a person who has lived in the US without official authorization since coming to the country as a minor. People of this description who met certain conditions would be eligible for a special immigration status under federal legislation first proposed in 2001.
“she found out the Department of Transportation was not going to grant driver’s’ licenses to DREAMers”
I idea of the “American Dream” is being changed to include citizenship for children of immigrants. These children were brought across the border or born as 1st generation Americans so that they may achieve prosperity, amnesty, and overall a better life here in the United States as opposed to where their families come from. This includes education and seeking a higher learning institution like a university.
The idea of an action for DREAMers has been around since 2001. The DREAM Act has gone through many changes in Congress over the last two decades; these are all ways that some margins of undocumented youths would now not be eligible for citizenship.
Immigration has historically been a hot topic for American youths to get involved in. Especially at the young adult age group. In 2005 a DREAM Act was passed under Republican majority, in March of 2006 almost 40,000 students stage walkouts in Southern California, while other states and school districts also held walk outs across the country, to gather attention in the way the similar walkouts did for protests against discrimination in the educational system in 1968.
The topic of immigration came to the light again under the Obama Administration where nearly 1.8 million undocumented persons were deported within the first 3 years. The issue has only grown in popularity of discussion with the Trump Administration due to their hardened take on immigration. Many families were separated and held in government run holding facilities while they awaited a court date to plead for citizenship and/or amnesty within the United States.
Some things undocumented immigrants cannot do in certain states are vote, rent a home, or go to school. Employers who hire undocumented immigrants are subjected to penalties if found out. However, there are 18 states that offer in state tuition to immigrant families. Many children of undocumented immigrant parents and asylum seekers live in a household of poverty and constant worry. This can be caused by the lack of a driver’s license so work is harder to seek out, and the constant fear of ICE and other agencies breaking into homes and places of work to deport the family.
For the families and the children looking for a new life or a better life education can be the their most desired dream. They want to be able to learn how to make a better life.
The act of a DREAMer coming out is done to share their story with others who may be in the same position as them, while at the same time raising awareness of their current status to those of the population who have not associated DREAMers with faces, lives, and families.This is called “Bonding” and “Bridging”; Bonding the DREAMers together through their shared experiences, and Bridging the gap between said storytellers and the rest of the country, and in the social media age, the rest of the world.
DREAMers can use social media as a political tool due its vast range of people who will see their posts. “Social networks are a benefit to individuals because they create feelings of “bounded solidarity” that encourages actors to act altruistically on behalf of their group, sect, or community,” (208 By Any Media Necessary)
Like any online movement, it is only as powerful as the people it touches. The more people that see memes, gifs, and articles about immigration, undocumented persons, and DREAMers, the better off the world can become as a whole.
Navas, Francisco. “These Poignant and Fun Memes Show the Humanity of All Dreamers.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 12 Dec. 2017, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/12/dreamers-memes-instagram-undocumedia.
“Randi Mayem Singer You Know What Would Really MAGA? Keeping the Dreamers and Deporting the Nazis 9317 836 PM | the Dreamers Meme on Loveforquotes.com.” Loveforquotes.com, loveforquotes.com/i/randi-mayem-singer-rmayemsinger-you-know-what-would-really-maga-18580038.
“‘Dreamers’ Memes & GIFs.” Imgflip, imgflip.com/tag/dreamers?sort=latest.