The Justice Department announced plans to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September, affecting the young lives of nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants protected from deportation. Armando Correa, People en Español’s editor in chief, writes a personal reflection on what it really means to be a DREAMer and why we must raise our voices.
We Are Americans
For the first time in our 20 year history at People en Español, we decided to sideline something that always graces our magazine covers: the lives of celebrities. I know you all are inspired by the stars you admire, how they dress, the makeup they use, their glamorous lives, if they marry or divorce, if they have kids, if they pass away. But for just one moment, let’s forget about the world of entertainment. Let’s dedicate some time to raise our voices in support of the young men and women who grace our November cover and who are among the more than 800,000 undocumented DREAMers protected by a policy established by President Barack Obama in 2012 —and are now under the threat of deportation after it was rescinded by President Donald Trump. Their future now lies in the hands of the U.S. Congress. That’s why today we must raise our voices so they can hear us all in Washington D.C.
These young men and women came to this country, without documents, as children holding their parents’ hands. They learned to speak English, attended school, some created their own families and businesses, they became professionals, some even joined the Armed Forces to defend a country they consider their own. Our president brags, mostly on Twitter, his favorite communication platform: “America is for Americans.” Mr. President, DREAMers are Americans, just like your children and grandchildren. They don’t need a piece of paper to be patriotic.
I have three children whom I’ve taught to love Hispanic culture, who speak Spanish and know their parents are immigrants. But at the end of the day, this is their country, a country where they have grown up and are committed to defend. I don’t know what would become of my life if I had to return with them to a country they don’t know and without a future.
Beginning with this issue, every month you will see the face of DREAMer and read his or her story in People en Español. We also will open up our website to help these young people and their families. Hundreds of celebrities have already joined our social media campaign #TodosSomosDREAMers (We are all DREAMers). You too can join us. Let’s not stay quiet; I have faith that the U.S. Congress will not deny these young people a future.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was a ray of hope for the “stars” we feature in this month’s issue. Meet them: an attorney, a priest, a paramedic, a soldier, an actress, a chef. Those dreamers are also the face of this great nation.