ACLU Comment on Senate Introduction of DREAM Act

July 21, 2017

ACLU Comment on Senate Introduction of DREAM Act

WASHINGTON — Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced today the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.

Lorella Praeli, director of immigration policy and campaigns at the American Civil Liberties Union, said:

“In a year characterized by division and partisan politics, this renewed, bipartisan effort to support and protect our undocumented youth emphasizes their movement’s resilience, the extensive common-sense benefits of the DREAM Act, and how widespread public support is for our DREAMer neighbors, friends, and family members.

“Passing the DREAM Act to achieve permanent security for these young immigrants is long overdue, and we thank Senators Durbin and Graham, stalwart allies in the fight, for their leadership.

“However, there must be no confusion: the introduction of DREAM intensifies rather than lessens the need to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. President Trump has told us that whether to preserve or rescind DACA is his decision to make. We urge him to follow his self-described ‘big heart’ and protect undocumented immigrant youth who contribute so much to the United States.

“Until legislation is passed that permanently guarantees the protection of DREAMers, DACA must remain in place. The 2017 DREAM Act, like DACA itself, is the product of many years of advocacy and education in the courts and in the streets: our movement will continue to fight and win.”

UnidosUS: Nation Would Be Strengthened by Bipartisan Bill to Support DREAMers
WASHINGTON, DC — Janet Murguía, President and CEO of UnidosUS (previously known as the National Council of La Raza), issued the following statement in response to the re-introduction of the “DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act.”
“We are encouraged by the steps Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, are taking to reach across the aisle and once again attempt a meaningful, bipartisan solution to address the threats to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. This is a time of uncertainty for many DREAMers in our community and we all should recognize what is at stake for our undocumented youth and their families.  
“Since the implementation of the DACA program, we have witnessed the full breadth of the economic and social contributions of young Latinos. To end DACA would mean a U.S. GDP loss of $433.4 billion over the next 10 years. And for the nearly 800,000 immigrant youth protected under DACA, this program has not only proven to be a lifeline, but an opportunity to fulfill academic and professional goals that once felt unattainable. Today, the DACA community is composed of doctors, engineers, students and educators—hardworking, passionate individuals who have and continue to enrich our society. We know the positive and significant impact of DACA, and we need a permanent solution that will recognize how these talented and dynamic young people have strengthened our country,” Murguía concluded. 

America’s Voice: DACA Works; Trump Must Keep It In Place Until Dream Act Becomes Law
Washington, DC – Today, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced a 2017 version of the Dream Act.  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) are also co-sponsors.  
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, said this:
“America’s Voice applauds the introduction of the new Dream Act. The DACA program is and always has been an interim step.  Dreamers deserve a chance to fully stabilize their status and become full American citizens, which requires a change in law.  
In the meantime, though, DACA has been an unmitigated success, and the Trump Administration must continue the policy in full force: enrolling new young people as they become eligible and ensuring that renewals are processed fairly.”
Juan Escalante, Community Engagement Manager with America’s Voice and a DACA beneficiary, said:
“The DACA program has been a tremendous success. It allowed me to pursue an advanced degree, contribute to my local community, and live a life free from the fear of deportation.
It is time for political allies and community leaders to take a stand and pledge to protect the DACA program and prevent Dreamers from serving as deportation targets.
Dreamers should not be exposed to the threat of deportation while Congress works on a legislative solution. That is why the Trump Administration must defend DACA and honor the promise that the United States made to hundreds of thousands of young people who, like myself, registered with the government and passed a background check to have a chance to improve their lives and their future.”
Clearly, there are detractors within the Trump Administration who want to end DACA, but cancelling a policy that is so beneficial and popular would be a colossal mistake.  
Sharry concluded:
“The moment of truth has arrived. People of good will from across the political spectrum must take a stand. We must stand up for Dreamers and insist that DACA be kept in place until Congress can pass a clean version of the Dream Act or broader immigration reform. We must stand up for immigrant families who are settled in America and contribute so much to the country they now call home. And we must stand up against an agenda focused on deporting millions of hardworking immigrants with deep ties to America.
DACA has made it possible for hundreds of thousands of young people to pursue their dreams, and that is a beautiful thing. Our government must not take that away.”

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