Thursday, November 12, 2015

Undocumented Youth Are Here Through No Fault of Their Own. But It’s Not Their Parents’ Fault, Either

Using the phrase “no fault of their own” in discussing undocumented young people does not encourage us to look at the roots of the poverty and violence their families experience.

By David Bacon, In These Times
November 5, 2015

When President Obama introduced his executive order in 2012 to defer deportation for young people (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA), the White House website said it would “stop punishing innocent young people brought to the country through no fault of their own by their parents.”

Last year, in the Republican assault on the President's next order that would have extended DACA to include other family members (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, DAPA), Jeff Denham, a right-wing Republican Congressman from California's San Joaquin Valley, used the same phrase. Taking pains to explain that opposing President Obama did not mean he supported deporting young people, he explained, “I have voted repeatedly in Congress to protect children who were brought into this country by their parents or guardians through no fault of their own.”

The phrase “no fault of their own” sounds sympathetic. Using it to justify halting deportations implies good intentions towards at least some young people without papers. Yet the idea has other troubling implications as well.

If young people came here “through no fault of their own,” then whose fault was it?[...]

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