Commentary

‘Dreamers’ deserve bipartisan solution

November 23, 2022 4:12 am

A “Dreamers” rally, held in San Francisco in 2017 (Photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen via Wikimedia Commons | CC-BY-SA 4.0)

Like so many current national issues at hand, it seems immigration reform has fallen victim to the extremes of Washington, D.C. politics. As pundits on the far-right and far-left bicker back and forth, few things are actually getting done.

While politicians in Washington are constantly in a state of gridlock, a recent court ruling has threatened to put nearly 700,000 law-abiding immigrants at risk. Also referred to as “Dreamers,” these folks are young adults brought to the U.S. as children. Passing permanent protections for Dreamers would give these law-abiding young people the security and freedom they ought to have.

Politicians from both parties should be full of pride to support permanent protections for Dreamers, who fear deportation from the only country they have called home. The recent U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling has legal experts positing the ruling will take away Dreamers’ ability to work and live legally in this country. The only way to guarantee stability for Dreamers is for Congress to pass permanent protections.

Most Dreamers are currently going to school or working legally under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) permits. The DACA program will be overturned because of the Fifth Circuit’s recent ruling. The average DACA recipient was brought to the U.S. at only 6 years old and has thought of the U.S. as their home for more than 20 years. Many Dreamers grow up thinking they are American citizens, only to learn otherwise when they try to apply to college or get a driver’s license. Passing federal legislation would allow these folks to remain in the U.S. and pursue their American Dreams without fear of deportation. Voters across the political party spectrum believe that Dreamers should be permitted to remain in the U.S.

Three-quarters of GOP voters and 97 percent of Democratic voters support letting Dreamers stay in the country while working or attending school, making it a true bipartisan issue. Dreamers contribute to our economy and our country. One-thousand Dreamers will lose their legal ability to work in this country every business day for the next two years when the Fifth Circuit’s decision leads to an ending for DACA within the next year.

We need Congress to pass permanent protections for Dreamers now.

We need Dreamers to stay in this country. They are our friends, neighbors, and members of our communities. Our economy won’t be able to handle the impact of losing nearly 700,000 Dreamers. The country is already grappling with labor shortage issues, losing more than half a million Dreamers will only make those problems worse.

Passing permanent protections for Dreamers will give a lifeline to the hundreds of thousands of young people who came to the U.S. by no choice of their own and proudly call themselves Americans. It includes strict measures to make sure no one takes advantage of the legislation or encourage more border crossings. I implore Senate leaders like Sen. Jon Tester to support passing permanent protections for Dreamers in bipartisan legislation by the end of this year.

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