As a military brat, I moved with my family to a different state or country every three years. From ages 6 to 8, from kindergarten through second grade, my family lived in Arlington. Although less than half the age mark of Mr. Will, I clearly remember every room in the house we lived in, as well as the names of our neighbors, the children I lived with, and my teachers and schoolmates.
I recently drove through that neighborhood and had no trouble identifying where I went to school, the stores where my family shopped, and where my friends and I lived. That was a “home” that I “knew.”
William W. Chip, Washington
The writer is senior immigration policy adviser to the secretary of homeland security in the Trump administration.
George F. Will, in his Dec. 12 op-ed urging passage of a last-minute immigration bill, defined “dreamers” as “the 2 million … under the age of 16 when brought here by parents who are not here legally. Lived they are under threat of deportation from the only country they know.” Almost none of those words appear in the executive order President Barack Obama issued in June 2012 for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or in any of the Dream Act legislative proposals that have yet to pass.
Although the majority of DACA’s initial beneficiaries came from Mexico, increasingly, millions of potential Dreamer applicants are coming from Asia, many bypassing legal non-immigrant temporary workers and foreign students permit. Some say a potential passage of a dreamer-to-citizenship act would incentivize visa overstayers — now the biggest source of illegal immigration.
Of course, almost everyone can agree that anyone who meets the DACA requirements of the media fantasy — who was brought innocently, by a parent at a very early age and knows only the United States as their country — should have an expedited process to get a green card. That obvious group may be around 500,000. This can be done in an easily defined stand-alone bill. But that won’t happen. It’s been tried but always failed because dreamers have been used by both parties as a bait-and-switch for larger, comprehensive and law enforcement provisions for more than a decade. No one wants to take dreamy action off the table.
Margaret Orchowski, Washington