Many Americans were introduced to the population of 800,000 illegal aliens currently being protected from deportation by an Obama-era program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) during the 2016 Democratic National Convention. On the opening night, America met 28-year-old Astrid Silva, an illegal immigrant residing in Nevada who walked out on stage and lambasted presidential candidate Trump for his attempt to regain control of the nation’s immigration policies.
The daughter of illegal Mexican immigrants who arrived in the U.S. at the age of four, Silva noted watching Trump’s “rise to prominence on the back of anti-immigrant stereotypes and xenophobic rhetoric…” At that point, Silva, who is a founder of a Southern Nevada organization for illegal alien youth and who holds two associate degrees from the College of Southern Nevada and, while also attending Nevada State College, became the human face of DACA.
America was also told that the nation’s hidden DACA recipients were veterans , valedictorians and others, who, as Leon Panetta noted, “provide an outstanding pool of young women and men who can engage in national service, including military service,” and thus deserve an extra dose of sympathy and consideration.
However, data that has since been released has challenged the true face of DACA, and has painted a more realistic picture of this illegal population demanding legalization. Despite the fluency in English demonstrated by Silva, a key factor in upward mobility in the U.S., the Center for Immigration Studies estimates that nearly one-fourth of the “DACA-eligible population fall into the functionally illiterate category and another 46 percent have only ‘basic’ English ability.”
Amnesty advocates love to use the use of the words “valedictorian” and “DACA” in the same sentence. But, in reality, less than half of the DACA population has actually graduated from high school. This is despite the fact that the average age of a DACA recipient is 25 with the oldest in their late 30s.
In terms of military service, roughly 900 DACA recipients – or a little more than one-tenth of one percent – have actually served in the U.S. military. This clearly calls into question just how different are they than the rest of the illegal alien population, and why would they, above any others, deserve legalization?