Jimmy Kimmel Had A Tough-Yet-Important Conversation With A DACA Recipient And Opponents

Putting a name and a face to the issue.

What do you get when you mix Jimmy Kimmel, a family with a DACA recipient, and six DACA opponents? A lively discussion about one of the biggest political issues dividing our country today, that's what.


On last night's Jimmy Kimmel Live! the host gathered a group of folks who do not support the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) program and introduced them to Esmeralda — a woman who was brought by her parents to the U.S. from Mexico City when she was 2 years old. She was not alone on the talk show, as she was joined by her baby daughter, Rose, and her Kansas-born fiancé, Michael, who is in the military. In short, this is a real family with a real problem.

The goal of this meeting was to try to humanize the DACA issue facing this group by showing them just one of the more than 700,000 DACA recipients who, like Esmeralda, had no say when they came to this country with their parents. These people face potential deportation should Congress not renew DACA by March 5, something somewhere in the realm of 87 percent of Americans support but is currently being used — some might say — as a political bargaining chip in Washington right now.

Kimmel did not remain impartial throughout the chat, prodding the six DACA opponents while clearly coming from a place of support for Esmeralda's family's situation. At one point, Kimmel actually says "I think this country has become cruel," and asked where the compassion is for Esmeralda and others who could see their families torn apart.

At times, this conversation is hard to watch — with polarizing viewpoints on an issue that has now been given a face, a name, and a story. In a time when the country seems to be torn about so many things and everyone has a point of view, it was nice to see Kimmel attempt to stir up a dialogue — not a debate — between different people, and to acknowledge facts and opinions from both sides.

In the end, Kimmel admits that "we made almost no progress." While this may seem true, it was a segment that we needed to see and one that we need to be having now more than ever.

Watch the full conversation here:


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