We need what they bring – Orange County Register

I’m not fully versed on the details of DACA, and I’m a little torn by conflicting opinions from friends, relatives and pundits. But I speak from my heart when I urge protection for the young people affected by DACA.

Through local volunteering, I have come to know several people in this category — men and women, mostly in their 20s and 30s, some still in their teens. All are either in school full time, or gainfully employed, or both. They have demonstrated the capability and will to study hard, work hard and improve society. Many have intentionally found jobs that “give back,” such as those in community service, law enforcement, teaching and pastoring.

These individuals were all brought to this country at an early age. Their circumstances vary, but every one of them regards the U.S. as their home and believes that just being here is a tremendous blessing. That’s one reason they are so motivated to make their lives count and set a good example. They also want to make their families proud. Nearly all are the first in the family to graduate college, and some are the first to graduate high school, or even junior high.

I realize and respect the importance of abiding by the “law of the land.” But the positive character qualities I’ve observed in these young people — including their deep and sincere commitment to family, home and our country — are an asset to us all. This commitment sometimes seems lacking in their U.S.-born peers, given current drug and drop-out rates and the cynical attitude our kids (and their favorite entertainers) often display toward what we used to call “old-fashioned values.”

Sometimes, the law of the land needs to be overruled by the dictates of the heart. I lean conservative, so maybe I am just getting soft in my old age. But I see no harm — and a lot of potential good — in finding a solution other than deporting these young people, as long as they meet the scholastic, military, employment and other requirements…

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