In the ongoing debate in Washington D.C. over illegal immigration, there is some confusion about terms. And it means a difference of millions of people. The terms are 'DACA' and 'dreamer." Democrats and many media outlets have used the terms interchangeably, but in fact only a portion of the so-called 'dreamers' are actually recipients of the DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.) So when Democrats claim they are fighting for protection for the 'dreamers,' they are talking about millions more people than just DACA recipients.
Ira Mehlman with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) explains the difference between 'DACA' and 'dreamer.' "(DACA recipients) number about 700,000 to 800,000 people who applied for a benefit that President Obama offered back in 2012," he says. "Democrats are actually talking about a much larger universe of people who are in the country illegally---about three-and-a-half million people who came to the United States as children."
Mehlman tells KTRH there is a lot of misleading information about the estimated 3.5 million 'dreamers.' "One of the things you keep hearing is that the so-called dreamers are children," he says. "Many of them are far from children, they're well into middle age at this point."
It remains to be seen if any deal reached between the Trump Administration and Congress on immigration reform would involve only DACA recipients or all 'dreamers.' Either way, Mehlman insists it's not worth shutting down the government. "Whether it is 800,000 or 3.5 million people we're talking about, the government of the United States is essentially being held hostage to the demands of people who are in the country illegally," he says.