Handling the Dreamers Crisis

The United States Senate has been polarized on the issue of dreamers. “Dreamers” is a nickname given to the children who entered the United States illegally with their parents or with other adults. In some cases, these kids were smuggled into the United States. However, over 800,000 of these dreamers have now grown up to be adults. The problems that they face are peculiar. On one hand, the United States is the only home that they know of. In many cases, the children cannot even speak the language of the country where they were first brought from. Hence, if they are deported back their native countries, these dreamers will be like aliens in those nations. This obviously seems to be unfair.

On the other hand, if they are allowed to stay and given citizenship, that might also lead to a lot of problems. Firstly, this will encourage people to smuggle children into the United States. Once these children become adults, they can sponsor their parents to become American citizens too. Once these immigrants become American citizens, they quickly become entitled to all the welfare payments that America offers its citizens. Hence, legalizing these “dreamers” will drain the American coffers.

In the recent past, there was a bipartisan debate on this issue. The Senate was so polarized that their inability to reach a consensus caused the shutdown of the United States government for a few hours.

The Profile of a Typical Dreamer

The Democrats are of the view that Trump’s immigration plan is draconian in nature. They believe that the government would not have enough information on these dreamers if they hadn’t filled out a DACA form in the first place. The government had enticed these people into giving out information in return for citizenship and this information may now be used against them!

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has claimed that deporting these dreamers will be good for the American population. This is because he argues that these dreamers do take up some of the jobs meant for the average American person. However, that is not the case.

The dreamers are not like the average migrant worker from Mexico. They do not work low-end jobs at rock-bottom wages. Many of these dreamers are highly educated. As a result, the jobs that they work on are more like the high-end jobs that H1B visa workers tend to work on. Hence, eliminating these workers will not ease the job market for local Americans.

On the other hand, it is likely that America may be creating a social security problem for itself. America is already facing a generation of dwindling workforce. This means that there will be fewer contributors to the social security and Medicare system. At the same time, the number of recipients who are entitled to benefits from these schemes is increasing exponentially. Hence, America is creating an economic time bomb for itself by not considering the fact that dreamers are also contributing large sums of money towards these schemes and will continue to do so for a few more decades.

America can learn its lesson from Japan. It is no coincidence that Japan has been facing sustained recessions and slowdown. The causes of their lackluster economic performance can be traced to their anti-immigration policies.

The Possible Solutions

  1. Deportation: At the present moment, America is facing a dichotomy. It is true that immigrants should only cross borders once they have received the consent of the government where they plan to go. It is also true that a nation has the right to manage its borders. Hence, if we believe this chain of thought deportation seems to be the only viable option.

    However, there are problems with deportation. Firstly, it would earn some very bad PR for the United States government. Secondly, the program will be hopelessly expensive. It would be a mammoth task to track down each and every one of those illegal immigrants and then send them across the border. This would require recruitment of a lot of government officers. Also, a lot of time and equipment will be required for this. It is for this reason that this action plan is both expensive as well as unpopular.

  2. Laissez Faire: There is another possible alternative which people in the United States Congress may not have explored. The hundreds of thousands of migrants do not want citizenship to the United States. They do not care if they get to vote or enjoy the political benefits. They just want to be able to keep any property that they may have acquired and be able to earn a livelihood in this nation. The United States government could grant them these rights minus the citizenship rights such as welfare. The best part about this policy is that the government does not need to do anything. It just needs to take a stand on the issue and document the remaining dreamers. Ideally, the dreamers should be more than happy with this deal. They get to keep their jobs and houses, and their next generation will be a full-fledged American citizen.

The United States will not be the first country to implement this laissez-faire policy. It has already been implemented by Switzerland which mandates that immigrants should be proficient in a Swiss language and they should have stayed in the country for ten years. Switzerland does not pay out any welfare benefits to these immigrants but continues to provide them an opportunity to work and survive.


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