Dreamers are individuals who were brought to the United States before the age of 16 and who don’t have lawful immigration status. They’re pursuing the American dream. They came to the United States as children and many of them discovered as adolescents that they had entered the country without documents. They’re the “dreamers” – immigrants and, most of them children of immigrants who are trying to escape from their legal limbo.
It´s estimated that in the United States, there are approximately 800,000 dreamers. They are young people between 18 and 35 years of age, the majority of Mexican descent, who entered the country illegally but have spent their childhood and adolescence in the United States. Their principal language is English and their links to their native countries are largely cultural.
On September 5, The Trump administration annulled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program put into effect by former President Obama, which since 2012 had protected the dreamers from being deported.
According to the Immigration and Remittances Yearbook published by BBVA Research, the BBVA Bancomer Foundation and the National Population Council, on average the U.S. immigration authorities deported 480 Mexicans each day during 2015. Of the total number of immigrants who were repatriated from the United States that year, slightly more than half (51.2%) were young people between 15 and 29 years of age.
According to data published in the yearbook, between 2010 and 2016 the number of minors who were deported from the United States fell from 20,438 to 13,746. Unaccompanied minors accounted for the majority, going from 67.1% in 2010 to 70.7% in 2016. Last year 62.8% of these minors were unaccompanied males between the ages of 12 and 17.
The dreamers’ fate now lies in the hands of Congress and in the hope that Republicans and Democrats can reach an agreement on these illegal immigrants. The Congress now has six months, until the annulment order becomes effective, to reach an accord.
At the same time, their countries of origin will need to evaluate the potential effect of this return, and they should work on integration programs for these young people so that, in the event they are deported, they can find an alternative in the place where they were born.