The final 4 years have been laborious on Erendira Rendon and people like her attempting to make their manner in America, not that the years earlier than that have been any stroll within the park.
Rendon’s mother and father introduced her to Chicago from Mexico when she was 4. She’s now 35.
Rendon is likely one of the Dreamers, the identify given to the younger immigrants who have been simply beginning to be handled as actual Individuals earlier than Donald Trump was elected.
For 4 years, they watched Trump attempt to unravel their restricted beneficial properties whereas terrorizing them and their relations with the specter of deportation, with solely the courts to stop his deeds from matching his rhetoric.
It was a traumatizing expertise, Rendon mentioned.
What might need damage most was realizing Trump had the help of the numerous Individuals who voted for him.
“At the start, it was like strolling across the streets when Trump gained and considering, ‘Does this person hate me? Does that person hate me? Why do they hate me?’ ” Rendon mentioned.
Like many in her state of affairs, Rendon grew up poor, acquired an training and set about discovering her manner in a society that locations arbitrary limitations on her means to work.
I’ve recognized Rendon lengthy sufficient to look at her mature right into a assured and extremely competent skilled organizer.
She works for The Resurrection Challenge, the place she is vice chairman of its immigrant advocacy and protection venture. Her obligations recently have included all the things from offering monetary help to undocumented households damage by the pandemic financial system to getting them authorized assistance on immigration issues.
“I think my purpose in life is to try to make things a little easier for my people,” Rendon mentioned.
In each potential respect, Rendon is a credit score to this nation. But this nation has nonetheless not made a spot for her and others like her, a state of affairs that has progressed from an injustice to an absurdity.
“If I don’t belong here, then I guess I don’t know where I belong sometimes,” she informed me, attempting to elucidate how debilitating the authorized limbo has been.
President Joe Biden says it’s time for Congress to do one thing concerning the Dreamers and the remainder of the 11 million individuals residing right here with out authorized authority.
It’s long gone time.
Biden is proposing complete immigration-reform laws that might grant a path to citizenship to any of the 11 million who have been right here earlier than Jan. 1, 2021, and who move nationwide safety and legal background checks and pay their taxes.
It’s an formidable proposal and comes as a shock. Not even immigrants advocates anticipated Biden to maneuver so boldly.
However Republicans already are deriding Biden’s plan as “amnesty,” setting the stage for a well-known battle.
Passing the laws shall be a “herculean” activity however is feasible, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, the chief sponsor, informed the American Enterprise Immigration Coalition on Thursday.
Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, helps Biden’s strategy however reiterated Friday he would favor to begin by caring for the Dreamers, whose proper to stay right here has been deferred for too lengthy.
Rendon known as Durbin’s suggestion a “fallback” however mentioned it “nonetheless could be an enormous victory for folk like me and for my household,’’ particularly if it turns into crucial sooner or later for her mother and father to return to Mexico. With authorized standing, Rendon and her siblings might go to relations in Mexico.
Rendon thinks she has it simple in comparison with others in her state of affairs.
“I’m single. I don’t have children. I have a career,” she mentioned. “I get to do this for a living and know what is actually happening versus Dreamers that didn’t know if DACA was going to stick around.”
DACA stands for Deferred Motion for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama administration program instituted by government order to present Dreamers short-term authorized standing.
However what one president may give, one other can take away, which Trump tried to do.
Now, a federal decide in Texas is contemplating motion that might put the Dreamers in jeopardy once more.
Rendon hopes Congress and the general public will see that Trump’s strategy failed, that she and the remainder of the undocumented are nonetheless right here, nonetheless contributing to the financial system and able to do extra.
“I think hopefully it means there’s a realization we have to take another approach,” she mentioned.
After 4 years of taking part in protection, it’s good to be again on offense once more.