Dreamers in the USA

Dreamers in the USA
26 Jun

Dreamers in the USA

There are lakhs of young people in the USA who are illegally staying there. They were brought into the USA illegally by their parents, mostly from Mexico and Latin America but also from other countries like India. Indians account about 3,000 of such people. They are known as Dreamers, the name coming from the DREAM Bill that was sought to be converted into an Act without much success, several times since 2001.


What is the DREAM Bill all about?

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Bill, also known as the DREAM Bill, is a United States legislative proposal to grant temporary conditional residency, with the right to work, to qualifying immigrants who entered the United States as minors and are staying there illegally. If they later satisfy further qualifications, they would attain permanent residency.

In 2001, it was first introduced in the Senate but it did not pass. The proposal has since been reintroduced several times, but has not been approved by the United States Congress.


What is DACA?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a part of the United States immigration policy that allows dreamers to stay in the United States with the assurance that they would not be deported even though they are illegal and undocumented people. There are entitled to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit in the U.S. To be eligible for the program, recipients cannot have a criminal record. They should be in the age group of 16-35 years. They should have arrived in the United States before the age of 16.

The reason is for such leniency is because they came to the US without their knowledge as children and grew up in the US. It is not their crime and so they should not be punished.


When was DACA introduced?

DACA as policy was an executive branch memorandum and was announced by President Barack Obama in 2012.President Obama signed the order as the Congress was not able to pass the DREAM Bill.


How do the DREAM proposal and DACA differ?

The difference between DREAM proposal and DACA is that the former proposed to confer citizenship while the latter only guarantees right against deportation.


Is DACA all moral? Is there nothing material about it?

Apart from the ethical side of the DACA, there are practical advantages. DACA recipients make positive and significant contributions to the economy, including earning higher wages, which translates into higher tax revenue and economic growth that benefits all Americans. In addition, DACA recipients are buying cars, purchasing their first homes, and even creating new businesses. Many Fortune 500 companies employ DACA recipients. 97 percent of dreamers are currently employed or enrolled in school.


Where does India figure in all this?

Some of the Dreamers are Indians who went to the USA as children and are staying there illegally. They are benefiting under the DACA.


Why is it in news now?

Trump administration scrapped DACA in 2017 and his decision was challenged in the Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court a few days back invalidated the decision of Trump administration. Court ruling was on procedural grounds and not substantive. In other words, the Court did not rule on the contents of the order but on the fact that the Executive did not have the power to nullify the DACA order without a reasoned explanation. Trump merely declared DACA illegal and unconstitutional and did not provide any reason for the same.