DREAMActivist answers Fanmail

It’s that time again!  It’s been sort of a slow week for fanmail.  Personally, perhaps people are just ridiculously impressed with our turnout in Washington D.C. and our organizing strength online.  It’s just a hunch.  Well, let’s get started!

Dear DREAMActivist: Where do you live you f***ing illegal so I can turn your terrorist as in? Sincerely, Jesse Morgan, justjesse123@gmail.com

Thanks for writing in, Just Jesse! Great question.  Undocumented students live all over the country, from the great Atlantic states to the golden Pacific coast.  That’s what is so great about the DREAM Act. It could change the situation of so many people all over the country.  It could even be your neighbor!

Just Jesse, thanks for volunteering to resolve DREAMers’ legal status by bringing attention to the situation.  However, unless a DREAMer asks for your help, the possibilities of making a citizen arrest pretty limited.  Generally, you have to believe that you are witnessing a felony.  Given that there is no legislation on the books designating undocumented immigration a felony (although the Graham-Schumer proposal would designate it a misdemeanor) you would be subject to strict liability before the courts for subverting something we call “civil rights”.

So, Just Jesse, why don’t you Just Keep Your Trap Shut.  Thanks for writing in!

Dear DREAMActivist: Hopefully there will be plenty of ICE officers and busses to get all the illegal’s (read criminals) back across the border.  Sincerely, PJSOWE@aol.com

Thanks for writing in, Person Just So Obnoxiously Wrong Etcetera @Aol.com (I assume that is your acronym).  It’s a good thing we’re going to pass the DREAM Act, because we sure need a lot more teachers and professors: the plural of “bus” is actually spelled “buses”.

The estimates of the costs of deporting all undocumented immigrants are extremely high.  The Center for American Progress estimates that a strategy aimed at deporting all undocumented immigrants could total approximately $285 billion over five years, and would translate to $922 in new taxes for every person in the country.  That’s NOT per household.  Now, PJSOWE, think about what you could do with $922 dollars.  You could get this Diamond Heart Shaped Watch for your mother.  You could donate to DREAMActivist. You could buy me a lot of shoes.  That would be tight.  Anyways, that’s $922 in new taxes!  Plus, let’s think about the logistics.  The operational feasibility of this effort means it is just not happening.  Even if the government did not engage in a deportation aimed at every single undocumented immigrant, it would still cost $23,148 for each person to be apprehended, detained, legally processed, and finally transported out of the country.  ICE deported 349,041 immigrants in 2008. You do the math.  Actually, I’ll do it for you.  That’s $8,079,601,068 in 2008.

But you know what? Even if the process were really cheap, or even free, mass deportation is still out of line, Person Just So Obnoxiously Wrong Etcetera.  You know why? Because while you want undocumented immigrants to go home, there’s something you need to understand. This. Is. Home.  So as you conjure images of a mass exodus, consider that most forced movements of people over the course of American history have been relegated to the “Bad” column of human events: consider the Trail of Tears, Japanese internment camps, and the forced “repatriation” of over one million Americans of Mexican ancestry during the 1930s.

Keep it coming,

The team at DREAMActivist

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