LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Clearing the record on DACA misconceptions

I feel I need to make some corrections to Debbie Hilton’s letter, “Applause for Trump,” published on Sept. 10, 2017.

Under the rules of DACA, participants cannot receive food stamps, Medicaid, welfare, Section 8, ACA or SSI benefits — hardly a drain on taxpayers. They also are required to pay federal and state income taxes, something that so far Donald Trump has been unable/unwilling to prove. There are an estimated 900 DACA participants currently serving in our armed forces; again, something neither Trump nor any member of his family has done. The government’s lack of proper services for our veterans has been an ongoing issue, long before the initiation of DACA and is a completely separate issue.

Ms. Hilton also incorrectly stated that children born to foreign nationals are not U.S. citizens. With the exception of foreign diplomats, any child that is born in the United States or one of its territories will automatically receive American citizenship.

The vast majority of DACA participants are gainfully employed, enrolled in higher education, or even operating their own small businesses.

Again, these “Dreamers” are doing more for our economy and their local communities then the Trump family has done in the last nine months of draining the Secret Service budget due to fund their extravagant lifestyle and private business trips, not to mention making a profit of those same private businesses with public tax dollars.

DACA participants had no say in whether or not they came to this country. While entering a country illegally is wrong, they should not be punished by being deported from the only home they have ever known. Would you want to live in fear of being put on a bus and sent off to a country you don’t know, alone, because your only crime was being a 5-year old child who moved with their family just like any other child would?

Many of these teens and young adults had no idea that they were not legal immigrants to this country until they tried to enroll in college, apply for a work permit or a driver’s license.

I also wanted to take a moment to question another letter that also appeared on Sept. 10, written by Fred Smiga (“Democrats should be responsible on immigration”).

In his letter, Mr. Smiga referred to Rep. Lisa Blunt-Rochester as a “token” representative, a term I found to be rather interesting. I wasn’t sure if he meant that she was a token in that she was African-American, a woman or both?

With the current racial climate in this country (which we can partially thank Donald Trump for with his constant vilifying of immigrants, ethnic minorities, Muslims and non-Christians both during and after his campaign), no one should ever be referred to as a token. Its extremely demeaning to both Rep. Blunt-Rochester’s ethnicity and sex.

Michele Lapinski

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mr. Smiga writes “In reply to Michele Lapinski, I was not at all using the word “token” to refer to race or gender, and I am wondering why she would think that. Actually, I was simply using the term ‘token’ to refer to the fact that our current Representative in Congress has not represented well all of the varied residents of our State and thus she does not seem to me to be a satisfactory choice to be re-elected in 2018.”


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