CNN Anchor Bonds With DREAMer: I Went to Columbia Too!

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Sep 04, 2017 10:18 AM
CNN Anchor Bonds With DREAMer: I Went to Columbia Too!

As President Trump mulls a decision on whether to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which would protect illegal immigrants from deportation if they came to the U.S. as minors, liberal media outlets have been racing to find DREAMers who have personal stories to share about how dismantling the program would affect them.

CNN's Poppy Harlow chatted with Santiago Tobar Potes, a student at Columbia University (who was born in the other Colombia), Monday morning to get his perspective on how DACA has benefitted him. 

At the outset of the interview, Harlow was giddy that Potes had attended the same school as her, smiling and noting that she went to Columbia too.

She also listed Potes's accomplishments, such as the fact that he speaks six languages and was once invited to the White House to meet with First Lady Michelle Obama. 

Providing Potes a glowing introduction, Harlow asked the student to explain how the dismantling of DACA would upend his career. 

Potes explained that he and his fellow DREAMers live in "fear" that they'll be discovered.

"We don’t have agency over our lives," he said, adding that they are treated like "second class citizens." 

He then explained that the rule of law may not exactly be the best precedent. For instance, he said, Japanese internment and racism were viewed as the "rule of law." 

"Sometimes it’s not the best way to go," Potes concluded.

Potes said he was "extremely disheartened" by the president's latest remarks on DACA. The student doesn't believe mass amnesty is the answer, but neither is mass deportation. Why not give first priority to undocumented immigrants who have made significant contributions? he wondered.

Potes made a few other points, including how he and other DREAMers would not have "access to such great lives" in their home countries. Some, he noted, don't even speak the language of their birth country. To many, America is the only country they know. 

The White House has indicated that Trump will be making his decision on DACA very soon.