Saturday Night Live has taken one of our favorite childhood board games and made it into an apt and aggravating metaphor. As kids, we played the Game of Life assuming we would become a rockstar, live in a mansion, and drive an orange van filled with our fictitious families before retiring 20 minutes later with stacks of colorful, paper money. SNL instead chose to reimagine the game with the option of being a Dreamer.
“The Game of Life: DACA Edition, now your destiny is determined at birth,” advertises the narrator. As those around her proceed through a much easier game, one player is asked to play by an additional set of rules that requires her to jump through bureaucratic hoops that are often at odds with each other. Her fellow player buys a mansion, while she must reveal her status to her employer. Don’t get us started on the immigration court system expansion pack.
While becoming a rockstar and retiring young isn’t the reality for most people, the portrayal of the DACA side of the board is the reality for hundreds of thousands of people. The whole purpose of the program was to allow Dreamers, who were brought into the country as children, the opportunity to build their lives in the United States without the fear of being deported.
Last week, Donald Trump tweeted saying “DACA is dead,” before continuing his anti-immigration tweetstorm about DACA recipients abusing the program. His sweeping characterization of this large and diverse group of people was flawed to say the least. The last people to qualify for the DACA program are required to have lived in the United States since 2007 at the latest. Ending the program has been on his mind since he was a campaigning, presidential hopeful. Although immigration is one of his most consistent talking points, the program has managed to continue despite Trump defunding it last year.
They aren’t new to the country. They’ve built their lives here, and they deserve the chance to play on the same side of the board with the same rules and garishly colored plastic minivan figurines as the rest of us.
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