Protect America's DREAMers with the BRIDGE Act
One of President Obama's legacies is the DACA Program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) of 2012, which provides temporary stays of deportation and work permits for young undocumented students and veterans who were raised as Americans. DACA recipients, known as DREAMers, undergo criminal background checks, pay application fees, and meet eligibility criteria including that they came to the United States as minors, grew up in the United States, pursued an education or served in the military, and do not pose a threat to the country. They strengthen the United States as small business owners, medical professionals, teachers, caregivers, members of the armed forces, and community members who have known only this country as home. As part of his xenophobic message, Donald Trump vowed repeatedly on the campaign trail to end DACA. Since President Obama created DACA through an executive order, President Trump now has the power to fulfill his campaign vow. However, Congress can stop him. The BRIDGE Act (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy Act, also known as S.128 and H.R. 496) is a bipartisan legislation, introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), that would protect DREAMers by continuing to provide them with temporary stays of deportation and work permits, even if DACA is discontinued. According to Senator Graham, the BRIDGE Act has broad support from the faith, business, higher-education, civil rights, and immigrant communities. The BRIDGE Act, unlike DACA, is a proposed law. If it is passed, President Trump will no longer be able to deport America’s DREAMers."