Any American who has turned on the news lately could watch many young immigrants taking a first step toward the American dream. The Department of Homeland Security began taking applications on Aug. 15 for “deferred action for childhood arrivals,” temporary relief from deportation for unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the USA as children.

But what you did not see in the stories of thousands lining up in Chicago or packing churches in New York were the many children who should benefit but won’t. Deferred action is intended for children who are “American” in everything but legal status, but the program’s idea of “American” is unlikely to include the children who picked the oranges for your juice or the tomatoes on your hamburgers.

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