What Martin Luther King would have wanted – A Path to citizenship for DACA and TPS

Trade the Wall for DACA and TPS (temporary) protections

The government is in a standoff with each other over a wall. We are in the midst of the longest government shutdown in history because to it. Now 800,000 federal workers, DACA and TPS recipients are being held hostage in this disfunction. Federal workers have to be putting up gofundme pages and driving UBER. DACA and TPS recipients who have lived here for decades and helped to build this country up are on the brink of losing everything. We, as the United States of America are on the brink of punishing people who have loyally served this nation. This is a new low. As we honor Martin Luther King, I also think we should stop and think about his tireless advocacy for basic human rights and dignity. The America that is denying DACA, TPS recipients permanent protection, is not the America Martin Luther King fought for and ultimately died for.

Unity art work for Martin Luther King Day

100 Things Unity ArtWork by Joshua Reynolds and Family.

A Lesson about Kindness and Unity

My five year old son just learned the horrific details of our past in America through a Martin Luther King lesson at school. He came home and told me about how we as “brown” people were forced to sit at the back of the bus and “peach” people were bullies. But he was empowered by our hero, Martin Luther King who came along and “made new rules.” After my son told me about his lesson at school, I thought back to our 100 things project that his school had assigned. We had to find 100 of the same thing and make a piece of art with it. I thought this would be a good way to continue this lesson about basic rights, and kindness. My son and I brainstormed and came up with a meaningful project. He called it “The United States.” We agreed to get popsicle sticks, paint the sticks different colors and make them into people and then squeeze them all into a tight space. We worked hard. My son and I had a few disagreements about the execution. And one incident where he thought it would be fun to use the glue gun as a toy gun instead. But our family joined together to make a beautiful piece of art. As we looked down at the finished product, my son professed, “they are all together, getting along!” Mission accomplished.

The only solution for DACA and TPS recipients: Unify to support permanent protections for them

So back to the current events. Here we are again, given a test to not repeat history of racism and exploitation against a group of people. DACA recipients came here undocumented as helpless children but then grew up to have families of their own, be business owners, professionals, valedictorians, valued employees, compliant and honorable residents of this country (no different than citizens).The same for TPS recipients. We should be granting them a path to citizenship WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED. Their fate should not be decided by whether or not Trump gets his symbol of bigotry and racism. To trade a mere extension of protections without a permanent solution for a wall, is like making a deal with the devil. It is a betrayal of American decency to exploit the hard work of these people and then to kick them to the curb. It is like a brutal modern day return to days black people were treated as subhuman animals. Yet they were exploited for their labor to build this country. Let that sink in today and everyday until these immigrants receive the credit and permanent solution they deserve.

NOTE: As always this is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Consult an attorney for advice regarding your particular circumstances.

 

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