Quickly, now: As the very infrastructure of this nation seems to be melting down in real time when confronted with the most basic options around either being decent or being actively evil, we keep hearing this one phrase around America’s Dreamers, aka the kids caught in the crosshairs of DACA. It’s that they arrived here “through no fault of their own.” You hear it on both sides of the aisle and on the lips of both the lovable and the loathsome; even Obama has parroted the phrase.
But something about the phrase has never sat right, and maybe it’s time to put a fine point on it: The very presence of the word “fault” in there presumes that somewhere, this was someone’s fault — in this case, there’s a very pointed little dog whistle latent in there, that places square blame towards the parents of the Dreamers. Which is a fairly heavy judgement to just casually toss around. Is it anyone’s personal failing to come here (or anywhere else) in search of a better life? If so, wouldn’t your/my own grandparents or great-grandparents also be guilty?
You can see how this is a slippery slope. And we don’t need to go down it every time we talk about this most precarious group amongst us. By way of remedy, how about…
…“by grace.” That feels more American, no?