You may or may not have heard of David Dobrik but there is no denying that he is one of the internet's biggest stars. He has accumulated over 5 million subscribers on his main YouTube channel and his videos have been viewed over one billion and three hundred million times!
Dobrik has his own podcast with collaborator and fellow YouTuber, Jason Nash. He is in fact the leader of a group of friends who just happens to be YouTube stars in their own right. Fans refer to their group as the Vlog squad.
His success has allowed him to buy a 2 million dollar house in Los Angeles, and a Tesla Model X car, both of which prominently features in his YouTube videos. By all intents and purposes this kid who was raised in the small town of Vernon Hills, Illinois is living the American dream. Except for one aspect, he is not considered legally American.
David Dobrik was born in Kosice, Slovakia in Eastern Europe. His family migrated to Illinois when he was five years old. Growing up, Vernon Hills was the only home he has ever known.
David Dobrik learned about his legal status at age 16
On previous episodes of his podcast, VIEWS, the internet sensation recalled how he never knew about his legal status until he turned 16 and had to get his driver's license. He had always believed that he was American through and through.
But his problem was resolved when President Obama put in place the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals otherwise known as DACA in June 2012. It grants individuals, known as Dreamers, who have entered the United States illegally as minors to be granted a two year renewable deferred action for deportation as well as gain eligibility for a work permit.
However President Donald Trump rescinded DACA on September 5, albeit with a 6-month delayed implementation to give Congress a window to put in a more permanent legislative fix.
More than 400 business leaders have previously appealed to the President not to recant the order. Several prominent Republicans and Democrats have also tried to lobby the White House to retain DACA. They have cited that doing so is not only morally wrong but could cost US businesses billions of dollars, if implemented.
Dobrik and 800,000 Dreamers are now in danger of being deported, losing their jobs and for most of them, the only home county they have ever known. He tweeted out his dismay and wrote, "I paid $400,000 in taxes last year and all I got was a free trip back to Slovakia."
I paid $400,000 in taxes last year and all I got was a free trip back to Slovakia#DefendDACA— DAVID DOBRIK (@DavidDobrik) September 5, 2017
I'm sorry to say I cannot attend Vidcon Australia, as of yesterday Trump has taken away all my travel privileges#DefendDACA— DAVID DOBRIK (@DavidDobrik) September 6, 2017
Known more for his comedy, and pranks with his friends, Dobrik decided to go into a more serious tone with this week's episode of his podcast to discuss DACA and its impact on him and his fellow Dreamers.
David Dobrik addressed main criticism of DACA recipients
He also addressed a main criticism lobbied at DACA recipients of why after all these years so many of them have not worked towards obtaining citizenship. "When I tweeted today saying that I'm a DACA recipient, there were 10 or 15 people that were like...you have so much money, you could have gotten a citizenship, and it's not like that at all," he explained. "You can't get a citizenship at DACA, you can't do (anything)."
He also talked about how he always thought that he was an American. "I was 16 when I found out I was a DACA person, and I thought up until then I was a citizen" he said.
He also discussed how his lawyer told him that he has not seen any benefit from the removal of DACA. "And bottom line from what I'm seeing everywhere, I feel like it's just an ego trip for those hardcore Americans that goes 'let's get everybody out of..this place,' and this marine messaged me saying 'you don't belong here,'" Dobrik said.
If a celebrity with money like David Dobrik is unable to get citizenship and receives hate for something he has no control of, can you imagine what normal DACA recipients have to go through? There has to be a better way to resolve this.