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Not all Dreamers should be granted legal status

Ruben Navarrette Jr. on

The more delicate question is who should get legalized. And here again, the Democrats ask for too much by proposing an across-the-board accommodation for all undocumented young people.

I'm all for giving DACA recipients legal status and a pathway to citizenship - which should not be automatic, but earned. It means something to be a U.S. citizen, and it should be worked toward.

But, for me, that's where it ends. I'm not in favor of giving legal status to the entire universe of Dreamers -- all 3.6 million of them.

It's not fair to legalize hundreds of thousands of people who didn't go through background checks, didn't take a risk in coming forward, and didn't lose sleep over whether they were going to be deported by the Trump administration. Those folks just hung back, and let this tense drama play out. Now that a resolution may be in sight, they can't just ride the coattails of those who went the extra mile and put their trust in America to do the right thing.

And speaking of America, the concept of risk-taking is in the DNA of this place. It's what immigrants do. It's what the parents of these people did in coming here -- even if it was illegally. We ought to honor those who stiffen their spine and take risks. And we should not go out of our way to accommodate those who play it safe -- and then have the gall to come around and expect a share of the bounty.

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Ruben Navarrette's email address is ruben@rubennavarrette.com. His daily podcast, "Navarrette Nation," is available through every podcast app.

(c) 2018, The Washington Post Writers Group


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