West

THE ARGUMENT

Was the Trump administration right to order an end to the Dreamers’ program?

YES

Jessica Zhang

Natick resident; Asian-American community activist

Jessica Zhang

Let us take a close look at the difference between what the word “dreamers” means in our normal lives and in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

Usually “dreamers” is used to describe people who have an objective and achieve it through hard work. It is often used by parents or teachers to encourage children to be strong during the journey of achieving their goals following the belief that if one works hard toward their dreams, someday they will realize them. Here, the implication of “dreamers” is positive.

However, in the so-called “Dreamers” program, the word has a different meaning. Here, it means those who came to America illegally with their parents, with the dream being to live here without going through the rigorous process required of parents and their children who want to obtain legal status in America. These “dreamers” live in America with a murky legal status. Regardless of how and when they came here, by parents or by themselves, at 5 or at 16, that does not change one fact: They are here illegally.

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Any country needs to have law and order, where good people are rewarded and bad ones are punished. If we welcome those in the United States who ignore our laws, how is that justice for the people who are coming to America legally?

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Some people argue that it is not the children’s fault, so they should be allowed to reside in America. But what about the children whose parents choose to go through the long and difficult process of coming to America legally? They could be rejected for many reasons and never get to live in America.

By allowing the “Dreamer” program to continue, we would be delivering a very dangerous message to the world: America is treating illegal immigrants better than legal immigrants. This will attract more people to come to America illegally. Is that a dream? I call it a nightmare.

For those reasons, I agree with the Trump administration’s order to end the “Dreamers” program. Rescinding DACA will discourage parents from bringing their children to this country illegally. Law and order must be restored.

NO

Diana Ortiz Giron

Arlington resident; master’s degree recipient from Harvard Divinity School; administrative fellow at Harvard College

Diana Ortiz

On Sept. 5, I was one of 800,000 undocumented immigrants across the US who faced the moment of truth: Since 2012, the DACA program had allowed us to study, work, get driver’s licenses, and live with less fear in our communities. The decision to end the program weighs heavy on my heart, especially as I think about the direct impact it will have on my friends and family.

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Although the program was not perfect, DACA allowed me, at age 21, to get a Social Security number, a work permit, and a driver’s license. For the first time in my life, I could drive without fear of getting stopped by the police. I could get through airport security and travel with more ease. For a few years, I enjoyed what most Americans take for granted: the freedom to live in peace, plan ahead, and feel secure.

Even if it was temporary, DACA allowed me — someone who came to the US from Mexico at age six — to feel like less of a stranger in the only country I’ve ever called home. And I’m lucky: I got married last year, and should soon qualify for a green card. Even so, the end of DACA fills me with dread. Friends of mine who are nurses and college graduates are considering relocating to Canada. Even my brother, who’s getting a PhD in biology, might have to stop his cancer research when his DACA permit expires. This is devastating and will be a great loss for the country.

Ending DACA is unfair and irresponsible. It betrays the trust we put in the government when we enrolled and provided all our information. The explanations given to end the program are also dishonest and misrepresent us. We are studying, working, and paying taxes. Despite how critics portray us, we are contributing to this country far beyond what Americans realize.

My only hope is that Congress will put aside egos and polarization to pass the DREAM Act. We can’t afford another filibuster or another 16-year wait. The DREAM Act is only a small part of the immigration reforms we need, but it’s a start.

Last week’s argument: Should Wayland impose a temporary moratorium on recreational marijuana shops?

Yes: 45.45% (15 votes)

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No: 54.55% (18 votes)

As told to Globe correspondent John Laidler. He can be reached at laidler@globe.com.