Imagine living the majority of your life in one country, and then suddenly being asked to go to home to a place you hardly know. What would you do when you got there?
This is a question many young people are asking themselves today, after the Trump administration announced plans to end an Obama-era program that supported the children of undocumented immigrants, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
On Wednesday, Mexico gave some of these individuals one possible answer: train to become a teacher. The Department of Education on Wednesday told Dreamers that if they are deported back to Mexico, they will be allowed to enter a teacher training institute and, eventually, become English teachers.
There are as many as 800,000 Dreamers who could be deported, roughly two-thirds of whom are from Mexico, according to the New York Times.
The administration is giving Congress a 6-month window in which to pass legislation protecting these individuals, many of whom are now working-age adults, small business owners, and full-time students.
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“Dreamers who are studying [in the US] and return to Mexico will have the ability to integrate into the National Education System, validate their studies, and receive scholarships,” the Department of Education wrote in a statement (link in Spanish).
Dreamers will be encouraged to enroll at the country’s 460 teacher training institutes, and apply for English teaching jobs, AP reports. Those with limited Spanish will also be able to receive Spanish lessons, according to the report.
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Mexico will also help Dreamers with job placement and housing, the Orange County Register reported.
“We will help them get jobs in every [Mexican] state,” Mario Cuevas, the head of the Mexican consulate in Orange County, said. “They can take advantage of their English, so they can teach or work in the tourism industry.”
The New York Times has reported that the “typical ‘Dreamer’ lives in Los Angeles, is from Mexico, and came to the U.S. at 6-years-old.”
According to Educators for Fair Consideration, an educational nonprofit, an estimated 65,000 undocumented immigrants graduate from high school each year, and 10,000 graduate from college.
Now, these same students may be asked to complete their studies in a country they were born in, but in most cases did not grow up in.
“Some of the young people don’t know Mexico, they don’t remember Mexico,” Cuevas told the Register. “Some go to college or have gone on to careers here. Or they have homes. Some even have families of their own.”