Is there such a thing as DREAMer's guilt? I often feel somewhat guilty that so much attention is placed on DREAMers like myself versus all the other undocumented immigrants just as deserving of immigration reform.
When the media or politicians speak of DREAMers and their "innocence" in coming to this country it implies malevolence on the part of the parents of those DREAMers and anyone else who came to the United States of their own volition through unauthorized means. Of course, this is not the case. In fact, it is those who had to face the brunt of the obstacles of coming to this country and making a life here whom are most deserving of getting their papers first. I am so proud of everything my parents went through to leave behind the lives they had built in Argentina in order to build new ones here. I am proud that my dad has been running his own company for more than a decade and that he creates jobs, and stimulates the construction/building economy on a daily basis. I am so proud both of my parents are permanent residents; there is no way I could make the argument that I deserve that more than they or any other parent of a DREAMer that came to this country seeking a better life for their family.
I am also proud to be a DREAMer and proud of all the DREAMers and the movement they have formed, but it is important that others are not forgotten when comprehensive immigration reform is discussed. It is also important to note that the DREAMer movement began over a decade ago and if a DREAM Act law was to pass today, many of the original DREAMers wouldn't even be eligible anymore. They are the reason we have gotten to the point we are right now.
However, when we talk about comprehensive immigration reform we should not create factions amongst the 11 million undocumented Americans. Although our demographics and personal stories vary wildly, our struggle is the same. This can be said by a member of any civil rights movement, because civil rights are human rights, and as people we cannot be categorized by a single word. "Undocumented" is not who we are, it is not an adequate description of any person. The same can be said for "African-American," "gay," and "woman." These identify the marginalized, but say nothing of the individuals.
The fight for comprehensive immigration reform is not about rights for undocumented immigrants. It is about rights for people who happen to be undocumented.