As the Founder and CEO of Whittier 360 News Network, I believe that the concept of "homeland" deserves a closer look. On behalf of American Posterity and Ethnic Americans, who alone founded the United States of America and who alone created the United States Constitution, we formally invite DACA recipients to apply for official American Citizenship. While they may not have ancestral roots in America, many have shown an admirable level of adaptation and loyalty that should be acknowledged.
The term "Ancestral Homeland" denotes a geographical area where your lineage can be traced back to, usually spanning at least five generations. This could be any part of the world depending on individual ancestry — be it Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, or among the Native American nations. Ancestral Homelands serve as more than just geographical pins on a map; they are repositories of cultural heritage, deeply ingrained family traditions, and stories that have been passed down through generations. These landscapes often become the invisible backdrops against which family values are set, playing a role in shaping one's worldview and identity. For Ethnic Americans, the United States of America is their Ancestral Homeland. But many Ethnic Americans also have multiple Ancestral Homelands do to centuries of ethnic mixing throughout American history. My own ancestral homelands are the United States of America, Quebec, Ontario Canada, the Isle Of Man, Ireland, England, and Sweden.
For DACA recipients, the concept of an Ancestral Homeland often does not include the United States. Their family trees are primarily rooted in other countries, whether it be Mexico (for most), Central or South America, or other regions. This distinction is important in the context of the current immigration debate, as an Ancestral Homeland confers a historical connection that DACA recipients typically do not have with the U.S. However, while they may lack an ancestral tie, many have formed other meaningful connections to America that are worth examining and acknowledging.
A Cultural Homeland is where you resonate deeply with the prevailing culture, irrespective of your birthplace. It's the locale where the language spoken feels like your own tongue, the history reads like your personal backstory, and the customs and traditions become the rhythm of your daily life. Your Cultural Homeland might not be marked on your birth certificate, but it's etched into your identity, often more strongly than any bureaucratic documentation can capture. This is the landscape where you celebrate festivals that mean something to you, engage in traditions that resonate, and uphold values that you deeply connect with.
For DACA recipients and the children of refugees, America often serves as this Cultural Homeland. Their adaptation to American English isn't just about learning a language; it's about adopting a new medium to express thoughts, emotions, and ambitions. In many cases the children of DACA recipients and even DACA recipients themselves are so fully acculturated they are unable to even speak their family's own ancestral language. It's not just assimilation; it's an active choice to participate fully in Ethnic American culture. It's a choice to embrace Americanism full on. From enjoying American holidays and festivals to participating in local communities, many DACA recipients have exhibited a deep respect for American history, traditions, and values. In doing so, they've sewn themselves into the diverse quilt that is America, adding new patterns while respecting the existing design. Their integration often goes beyond mere surface-level imitation, blossoming into a deep-seated sense of belonging that deserves acknowledgment and respect.
An Adopted Homeland is a nation that you were not born into but have chosen to make your home. This commitment can be so profound that you'd defend this new homeland in case of conflict, even against the country of your birth. An Adopted Homeland is not a second-choice destination but a conscientious decision for a fresh start, for new opportunities, and often, for personal and collective safety. It involves the courageous act of leaving behind the familiar to embrace the unknown, of substituting one set of social norms, laws, and even climates for another. The essence of an Adopted Homeland goes beyond mere geography; it seeps into the allegiance to a new set of ideals, values, and the collective dream of a nation's people.
An Adopted Homeland involves a monumental shift in allegiance, often born out of love, commitment, or necessity. It's a profound declaration of fidelity to a new country and its inhabitants. One of the most evocative historical instances of this concept can be found in the story of Ruth from the Bible. Ruth was a Moabite woman married to a Hebrew man. After her husband died, instead of returning to her ancestral homeland of Moab, she chose to accompany her mother-in-law, Naomi, back to Naomi's homeland in Judah. Her compelling vow, "Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God," captures the essence of what it means to adopt a homeland. Ruth's commitment wasn't just to a person, but to an entire people and their way of life. She became an integral part of her new community, eventually becoming the great-grandmother of King David.
Ruth's story resonates profoundly with the experiences of DACA recipients and refugees today. Faced with formidable challenges and often heart-wrenching choices, they've made the United States their Adopted Homeland. Their commitment is palpable in their contributions to American society and often in their declaration of allegiance to a nation that they weren't born into but have come to deeply respect and love. Their situation reflects Ruth's pledge in a modern context: they've chosen to go where opportunity and safety are, adopting the American people as their people, and in many cases, sharing in the collective values and dreams that define America. Their story of adopting a new homeland, like Ruth's, is often one of courage, resilience, and deep-seated commitment that often goes unseen and unacknowledged even by so called advocates. But someone is always watching.
For DACA recipients and refugees who find themselves in the U.S., their adoption of this country as their homeland is often a testament to incredible resilience. Faced with insurmountable challenges such as being expelled from their Ancestral Homelands, or enduring conditions that forced them to flee, many have not only sought refuge but have also contributed significantly to American society. With no other nations willing to take them in, they've built lives here, taken up jobs, contributed to their communities, and in many cases, have served in the American military. Their commitment shows that they haven't just landed on American soil; they've planted seeds here, nourishing the land with their contributions. This deep connection, often born out of necessity but solidified through active participation and allegiance, makes the U.S. their Adopted Homeland in every sense of the term.
Invitation to DACA Recipients
To all DACA recipients who have made the United States your Adopted Homeland, we extend a heartfelt invitation to take the next step in cementing your place in this country. This invitation comes not just from a government, but from the living lineage of the United States—direct biological descendants of the Founders of this nation and those who truly were the "people" in the phrase "We the People" from the Constitution's preamble. Your deep commitment to the United States is recognized and valued, and we believe it's time for you to become an official part of the nation you've already contributed so much to. In taking this step, you'll be joining a long line of individuals who have, across generations, chosen to make this land their own. We hereby welcome you to complete your journey of making the United States your official homeland, your chosen place of allegiance, and your lifelong community. You've earned your place here through your actions, your commitment, and your respect for this land and its people. Therefore, let us be the first to say: Welcome to the United States of America.