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2019 DACA Renewal: Understanding the Dreamer Community

Updated on October 23, 2023
Charlotte Doyle profile image

I am a mental health professional who loves to express my thoughts on diverse topics through writing.


Dreamers are freeloaders.

Dreamers are criminals.

Dreamers are stealing our Jobs.

Dreamers are not paying taxes.

Dreamers are lazy.

Dreamers are worthless.

Dreamers are getting free healthcare.

Dreamers are stealing college funds.

This is not true. None of this is true. But this is a mentality that many Americans have regarding Dreamers.

What is DACA? DACA is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Dreamers are Stealing American jobs.

No, they're not. As of October 2017, there's a shortage of Americans workers that are considered qualified enough for the jobs that are rapidly developing, especially within the technological field. (Guarino, 2017) There's even a shortage of drivers regarding trucking companies. Many complain that the American unemployment rate is directly correlated to DACA recipients. As of October 2017, seventy-five percent of DACA individuals have jobs, and that is by the National Immigration Law Center. (Wong, 2017) Many people mistake DACA individuals, and unjustly group them,with those they call 'illegals'. They would be surprised to find out who big corporate companies hire to do their 'less than sophisticated' that Americans are usually too prideful to do, and will usually never be caught doing for less then five dollars an hour, especially with absolutely no fringe benefits. Americans would be surprised to find out what 'poor' and 'poverty' actually look like. (Sheffield, 2011) The threat isn't the DACA individuals, however. But there's certainly work to be done, by Americans, but they are usually too busy demanding $15 an hour to work at McDonalds. Ultimately, the unemployment rate can be blamed on a plethora of situations, people, and things, but it's not the fault of the DACA individuals. As of October 2017, companies desire for dreamers to stay on board. They are appreciative of the hard work ethic, motivation, initiative, and talent that the Dreamers bring to the table. (Jan, 2017)

Dreamers are Criminals.

No, they're not. They are held to higher standards than most American children. DACA have to be individuals who have a high school certificate or are currently in school. At the very least, they should have obtained a general education development certificate or a GED. Or, they would have to be a veteran that was honorably discharged by the Armed Forces of the US, or the Coast Guard. DACA individuals are not allowed to have been convicted of a felony. They are not allowed to have any misdemeanors that are significant. They cannot have three (or more) other misdemeanors. They cannot pose any threat to public safety or national security. If a DACA individual, as a student, was in school but dropped out, they cannot qualify for DACA. If the DACA individual was not honorably discharged as a veteran, they could not meet the education or military service guidelines that are required for DACA.

Dreamers are Freeloaders.

No, they're not. Americans have this idea that Dreamers come here to leech off the system. For some reason, we turn a blind eye to those Americans who rent out low-rate Section 8 housing to other individuals at a higher rate, making a fat profit. (Newscome, 2012) We turn a blind eye to Americans who have children that they neglect and pawn off to others, just to get that extra tax money. We turn a blind eye to Americans who sell food stamps in exchange for cash. We turn a blind eye to those who 'play the medical system,' to claim disability. We neglect to acknowledge that many Americans depend on the government, some by choice, other through scam, and some through true need. We ignore the fact that Americans are comfortable with poverty. Almost forty-seven million Americans are currently living off of food stamps, and they alone are pushing the costs of the benefits of the program. Americans depending on Medicaid have risen steadily since 2010.

Dreamers Become Citizens through DACA

Not true. DACA gives individuals a short-term delay from getting deported. It allowed them to stay in the country lawfully and lets them have work permits. It also will enable Dreamers to have a driver’s license. And that's it. They are then allowed to live in the United States of American for two years. At that point, they may be able to apply for renewal, if all the terms and conditions of DACA have been met. Dreamers are not here permanently. Dreamers do not get amnesty. Dreamers do not obtain immunity.

Dreamers do not pay taxes.

DACA individuals do pay taxes. As of October 2017, those within the DACA program paid out about two billion dollars in taxes, of a local nature. This is a figure from the Taxation & Economic Policy figures.

Dreamers get free health care.

This is a myth. Some immigrants may afford to apply and get accepted for the Affordable Care Act, as regular qualifying Americans. DACA individuals, however, do not hold any eligibility for healthcare. DACA does not even promise or state that they can apply for, and receive, any Medicaid, like Americans. The misconception probably comes from the fact that other kind of people that Americans consider 'illegals' might qualify for a few perks. These individuals may be those with temporary work visas. They may also include those who are refugees, or who are seeking asylum. They may qualify to obtain a premium tax credit and have their copayments lowered. Some states do have their state-funded programs for Dreamers, however. It's easy for Americans to group all people they consider 'illegals' in one mental box, and keep them trapped there, but is that truly fair? It is not. It's essential to note that Dreamers may be able to get health insurance if their employer offers it, as Americans may do. They may also get health insurance if they are married to a spouse that has health insurance. They may be eligible for health insurance is there is some community clinic offering insurance, or if they buy it, out of pocket, through private insurance. They can only do this if they can purchase the whole premium.

Dreamers are Stealing College Funds

This depends on what one considers 'stealing.' DACA did allow immigrants, who are not documented, to have the means to be able to enroll in a college. They obtained the opportunity to pay tuitions that were considered 'in-state,' and even qualify for, and receive, financial aid. DACA individuals are NOT eligible for any financial assistance from any federal body, even though some states may allow a DACA individual to pay state tuition. Different states have different rules when it comes to how they help DACA individuals go to college. South Carolina and Georgia do not allow students who are undocumented to attend college. They are not even allowed to get financial aid. Some college and states demand that DACA individuals pay hundreds and thousands of more dollars than students who are out of states. Can we blame DACA individuals for wanting to take the opportunity of their educational benefits? Is it indeed their fault that some of our healthy, adult, able American children lack the motivation to go to college and attempt to succeed in life?

Ultimately, turning a blind eye to the truth benefits no one. It only helps to strengthen prejudices, racial stereotypes, and hatred toward people that we do not want to understand. In American, there is an expression: Ignorance is Bliss. Is it genuinely blissful to throw an entire group of hard-working people into a dismal pile, just to prolong our racial agenda, and promote superiority?

Let us not forget that this land was founded by immigrants. In the Americas, there is no such thing as 'Native Whites.' The first Americans were indigenous individuals, which is another fact that we genuinely want to turn a blind eye to. They were wiped out and forced into reservations through slavery, disease, and weaponry brought from the immigrants that hailed from Europe regions and British rule. But the subject of the injustices against Native Americans is a topic for another time.

It's time to remove the blinders when it comes to DACA individuals and be open to the truth that hatred is conditioned, as is ignorance. It's a mental disease that can be overcome with an open mind and research.

Dreamers are ultimately a definite asset to the future economy of the United States. It's a very much needed act that can bring new, fresh, motivated talent to an American workforce that is lacking in several sectors. Dreamers are rewarded for working hard and for doing good in school, and for being part of the military. They are required to be a productive citizen to maintain their status. And don't worry, while Dreamers are working harder (than many unmotivated Americans) to maintain their status while sharing their gifts and talents, they cannot sponsor their relatives, or parents, or cousins, or uncles, or anyone like that. The law of immigration doesn't allow it.


Guarino, A. (2017) Labor shortage in the United States becoming an increasingly dire issue. Retrieved from:

Jan, T. (2017) Companies to offer ‘dreamers’ legal protection as Trump scraps DACA. Retrieved from:

Newscom, M. (2012) Violations and Vouchers: An Interview with a Section 8 Police Officer. Retrieved from:

Sheffield, R. (2011) Air Conditioning, Cable TV, and an Xbox: What is Poverty in the United States Today? Retrieved from:

Wong, T. (2017) DACA Recipients’ Economic and Educational Gains Continue to Grow. Retrieved from:

© 2018 Charlotte Doyle


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