What Would Jesse Do? – I stand with the Dreamers

The US democracy hasn’t represented us, the people, for quite a while. It’s especially obvious right now as Congress is trying to decide what’s next for undocumented people who were brought to the US as children and are now facing the possibility of being arrested and deported back to the countries that they happened to be born in. They grew up in America, speak English, are a part of our community, are our friends, spouses, teachers and co-workers.

According to polls, 73% of Americans support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This support is across party lines: Republican, Democrat and Independent. With that widespread support, how can our representatives even suggest that they are representing the American people? They can’t.

I stand with the Dreamers, and will continue to stand for a pathway to citizenship for all child immigrants. I also oppose any legislation that would break apart families. We New Mexicans know how important family is, and we know how important immigration is. The first Heitner in my family to reach the U.S. got here illegally from Austria-Hungary during WWI by learning English, tattooing an American flag on his back, and convincing crew-members on U.S. naval ship that he was already an American immigrant and needed a ride home. Except for the pueblo peoples, and those latinx families that didn’t cross the border but had the border cross them, we’re all immigrants here. New Mexico is a land of immigration, and it’s our responsibility to carry that torch.

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