Defend Undocumented Childhood Immigrants with the DREAM Act
On September 5th, the Trump Administration announced it is rescinding the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that grants protected status to undocumented immigrant children brought into the US by parents or other adults. As announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the program will no longer accept new applications effective immediately, and will only grant current DACA recipient status renewals for the next 6 months, completely terminating the program on March 5th, 2018. This 6-month window for current DACA holders only covers approximately 24% of DACA recipients, leaving nearly 600,000 DREAMers with no avenue for renewal after March 5th. Eliminating DACA will ultimately deprive 800,000 people protected by the program of jobs and access to education, and put them at risk of deportation. Rescinding DACA will not only hurt DACA recipients but also damage our economy, reducing GDP by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade. Furthermore, the program is popular on both sides of the aisle. An April 2017 poll found over 75% of registered voters supported allowing DACA recipients to remain in the US, while over half supported DACA recipients ultimately earning citizenship. Now, it is up to Congress to defend DACA recipients against the Trump Administration’s unjust actions. On July 20th, Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced the DREAM Act (S. 1615), a bipartisan bill which would grant legal status and a path to citizenship for DACA participants. In the House, Democrats have introduced a slightly more generous bill, the American Hope Act (H.R. 3591), which would also grant DACA recipients conditional legal status. Congress must quickly move to support and pass a legislative solution to protect our Dreamers."