Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

'A crime to dream the American dream?' Reaction to 'Dreamers' and their support network

A poster at a pro-Dream Act student gathering place in Los Angeles, December 2010
A poster at a pro-Dream Act student gathering place in Los Angeles, December 2010
Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

A post from last Friday detailing how undocumented youths have been using social media to build a support network - and in some cases, to fight deportation - was  widely circulated over the weekend. It also drew a very long string of comments, a mix of cheers and outrage.

Here are just a few, unedited. John Collins wrote:

Isn't that sweet. Those young activists are giving away something which doesn't belong to them to illegals. That something is OUR country, which rightfully ought to preserved for OUR children. How generous.

Overpopulation is not just an issue for developing countries. Own own resources are running out rapidly, ad we will have a sharp drop in our standard of living and quality of life as a result.

Eduardo (who posted several comments) responded with this excerpt:
The money they earn, for the most part, is invested here in houses, consumption, education, taxes ($14 billion annually only from undocumented immigrants), and by keeping up a deteriorated economy with cheap labor that translate into less expensive products for you and all the John Collins to enjoy.

And even the money that they send back home is a blessing for the US. That money is promoting development that has been proven to stop immigration to the US.

Every time you go to a restaurant, every time you enjoy a nice garden, a beautiful landscape, a clean bathroom. Every time you can go out for dinner with Ms. Collins while safely leaving your kids with undocumented Maria, every time you hear Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, all this times, John, your life gets better and better.

Is it a crime to dream the American dream? People don´t break real laws by migrating to where there is work and a chance to find prosperity. John, you are living among entrepreneurial, non conformist people...the best of the best of the countries that could not keep them.

"Eweee eeeeee" wrote:

A) If you're an undocumented alien, sorry but you committed a crime.
Why this is so hard to understand, I do not know.
If I was in Canada illegally I would never dream of demanding they let me stay.

B) The USA allows more legal immigrants than the next 5 countries in line and has a higher percent of LEGAL immigrants than the next three countries combined.

C) We're the most generous country in the world when it comes to immigration.
Do not take advantage of our generosity, please.

And Lb521 wrote:

While I don't want to get into my particular beliefs about whether immigrants to this country should be accepted as citizens (yet didn't we all come from immigrant backgrounds at some point?), I do want to say how interesting it was to read about the way in which this group of people is utilizing technology, specifically social media, to generate interest in their cause and to build their own support networks. As Facebook continues to build up its advertisement base and develops new, yet equally insipid "games" to suck our energy, it was inspiring for me to see people trying to communicate and connect with other people.

At the foundation of humanity is our ability to communicate and form connections with others - and whether or not we feel like reaching out to other people does not mean that they can't reach out to us, for acceptance, for support, for help. Hopefully some of us will be there listening - and willing to answer.

The post, published Friday, examined what by now has become a broad support network created by U.S.-raised college students and other young people brought here illegally as minors. The phenomenon has grown since last year as more of of these youths have been "coming out" with their immigration status as a political act. As some young people have landed in deportation proceedings, this peer network has used its reach to gather community and legislative support, and some deportations have been suspended.