One sentence that is lacking in the (entirely fake) effort to help the Dreamers is “The kids did nothing wrong so we shouldn’t punish them but we need to make sure that we don’t end up with another group of 800,000 such kids after we help the current ones get papers.”
The problem is that even if all Dreamers receive US passports today, this will in no way prevent the restoration of the underclass of the perennially scared and insecure two seconds down the road. We need to ask ourselves if we want there always to be a large group of traumatized young people who grew up in conditions that are designed to thwart in them the very qualities needed to be successful and well. We need to ask ourselves if we are refusing to see how much the existence of this group benefits our own children who have an enormous in-built advantage of growing up without this profound anxiety over deportation.
There is such a thing as collective will. If a phenomenon exists for a long time and doesn’t go away, we need to look at which collective need it nourishes.