Rick Santorum Tells Young, Educated DREAMer The US Is Not Her Country

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Rick Santorum prompted harsh online criticism after telling an undocumented immigrant protected by DACA to leave the country.

The Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was a blessing for those who entered the United States as undocumented minors, fleeing the horrors of war, conflict and persecution in their own countries.

The program allowed these educated young adults, commonly referred to as “DREAMers,” to receive deferred action against deportation.

However, now that America has elected a xenophobic bigot as its next commander-in-chief, the DREAMers are concerned about their future.

Mexican-born Elizabeth Vilchis is just one of them.

During Van Jones’s CNN special “The Messy Truth,” Vilchis recounted her heartfelt story to audience and the guests: former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum and political commentator Ana Navarro.

She explained how she was brought into the U.S. at the age of 7, after which she earned a degree in mechanical engineering and has spent almost a decade encouraging other students to purse STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) career paths.

“I stand to lose all the work that I’ve done if the administration decides to end DACA,” Vilchis said. “My career will come to an end if that program ends and I will also potentially be labeled for deportation, which means I am going to be removed from the communities that I’ve contributed to so much.”

She then asked Santorum’s advice on how she should plan for her future, given that the president-elect wants to deport the entire undocumented population.

The former Pennsylvania representative (and obnoxious Trump crony) responded with the story of his own grandfather waiting for years to call his family to the U.S., because coming here “was worth doing it the right way.”

“What most people in America feel is that you’ve been given a tremendous benefit by being here in this country,” he said, adding that Vilches “wouldn’t have had the opportunities to be able to accomplish” all that she has anywhere else.

He then went on to impart some truly disgusting counsel.

“My final point is that you have the ability to go to any other country right now and apply those wares, and be successful, and reapply to come back to America,” Santorum told the DREAMer, who looked visibly upset at his words.

Luckily, Navarro came to Vilchis’s defense.

“First of all, this is your country,” she responded, slamming Santorum’s callous statement. “No matter what he says, no matter what anybody else says, this is your country.”

Although Santorum attempted to get another word in, he didn't succeed.

“I, as an American, thank you for the contributions you are making to our joint country. I want you here,” Navarro continued, adding that anonymity is no longer an option for people like Vilchis, who was brought to the U.S. as child without any knowledge of her situation.

“You’ve got to tell your story and change and affect public opinion, because your stories are beautiful. They’re the stories of the American dream,” Navarro added.

The reaction on Twitter was massive. Online users were quick to call out Santorum for suggesting that a DREAMer who spent her entire life in America and contributed so much to it should leave the country she calls home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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