When I was a child, my immigrant parents told me that I could be whatever I wanted to be and I believed them. They never impressed upon me that I should go into one profession or another. It was understood that if I worked hard, I could achieve my American Dream. And I believed them.
I believed them because that's what I learned in school, that's how I grew up in this country. With their words pushing me forward, I did just like they said. I became a role model instead of a national statistic. I achieved what many only dreamed of.
From the Barrio in the Mission District to the streets of East LA and the rural community of San Bernardino County, CA, I graduated top of my class at Bloomington High School, completed a bachelor's degree at Stanford University, and learned how to be a lawyer at the University of Notre Dame Law School. I achieved my American Dream. Achievements that no one could take away from me. Why? Because I was fortunate enough to be born in the USA.
President Donald Trump just threatened to take that American Dream away from approximately 800,000 members of our national community this week by canceling an Obama era program meant to protect them. Why? Because these human beings were not born in the USA.
In 2012, President Barack Obama issued an executive order that embraced a legal immigration concept that existed prior to 2012 called "deferred action." It is based on the premise that the United States government cannot possibly remove all undocumented individuals in this country for as much as it would like to. It identifies certain individuals who do not pose a threat to our national security and are otherwise good citizens. The government defers the action of removing them and allows them to remain in the USA.