Junot Diaz Says DREAMers Deserve More Than ‘A Bone’ [VIDEO]
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz told a high school student reporting for The Mash, the teen edition of the Chicago Tribune, that while President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals directive and the DREAM Act are "nice and important" steps toward fixing America's broken immigration system, they stop short of treating the immigrant community fairly.
That's important because this is a community that has always invested in our economy with hard, back-breaking work. In Diaz's opinion, this "bone throw" doesn't jive well with the American values of equality, access to opportunity, and democracy.
I think the DREAM Act [and deferred action] is a tiny little bone that they throw in to a community that deserves a lot more, and certainly I think it’s nice and important but we should be able to recognize the community—the people who do the heavy lifting—and stop afflicting them.
But Diaz also said he's confident the day will come when DREAMers would deservedly get what they've been fighting for—"the recognition that without them, we wouldn't have this country."
Watch his comments here:
As Campus Progress reporter Emily Crockett noted, DREAMers recognize the shortcomings of deferred action. But overall, they've opted to view the new program implemented by the Obama administration as an opportunity to apply for a chance to earn a living while pursuing an education or serving in the military.
The deferred action directive will grant DREAMers protected status and the ability to work in this country for two years, as long as they came to the United States before age 16, are under 31, have lived continuously in the United States for five years, are in or have graduated from school or have served in the military, and have no significant criminal record.
Naima Ramos-Chapman is an associate editor at Campus Progress.
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