Why we need the Dream Act now and how to make it happen

The 2020 presidential election results show that the United States remains a divided country, but most Americans are looking forward to more tranquil times. That is why now more than ever we need to pass the Dream Act[1]. Dreamers, their families, employers, and employees, should not be used as political pawns. This issue should no longer be used to rally an extremist base, or to try to increase minority voter turnout. It is time for us to come together as a country and recognize that our strength as a nation depends on our unity as neighbors.

Dreamers are exactly that: our neighbors, our nurses, our students and teachers, our husbands and wives. Dreamers are exemplary members of society.  DACA recipients and their households pay $5.6 billion in federal taxes, and $3.1 billion in state and local taxes, each year.[2] On average dreamers were brought to the United States at age 7, finished high school, and committed no crime.[3] Dreamers came to the United States at no fault of their own, yet, they have been left in a legal limbo for most of their lives. The harebrained policies of the current administration regarding DACA recipients have postponed their futures; threatened their families’ safety and well-being; thwarted their investments and employment. These matters are too important to be left at the whims of an ever-changing political landscape.  We need to put partisan petty politics aside and recognize that the passage of the Dream Act is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do.

Passing the Dream Act would not only benefit American families and businesses, but it could potentially become the olive branch that greases the wheels of congress to pass a bipartisan legislation. A clean Dream Act is the type of small incremental, common-sensical legislation that both parties can support. Republicans like Senators Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio have supported it in the past. Its passage would also help to heal some of the divisions created by the current administration.

But despite the obvious benefits of passing the Dream Act, its passage will require significant legislative skill, public support, and grass-root organization. That is why Dreamers, their allies, and supporters, need to work together and organize to ensure its passage. We need to send letters to congress, organize marches, and call our senators. We need to share their stories. We need to stop looking at Dreamers as a vague group and start telling individual stories. Let us tell the stories of the countless nurses fighting COVID who are Dreamers. Let us tell the stories of Dreamers educating our children in schools, especially in underserved communities. Let us share the stories of how Dreamers are investing in the future of America. Dreamers are not a vague class of people, they are our brothers and sisters, our schoolteachers, our firefighters, our paramedics. They love this country. Let us love them back.

If you'd like further information on the topic, we're happy to invite your to our ucoming webinar on What's next for Dreamers, just clic below: 

dreamers-webinar

 

[1] The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM) is a bipartisan proposal that would provide a conditional path to legal permanent residence for certain unauthorized youth who, as children, were brought to the U.S. 

[2] Nicole Prchal Svajlenka and Philip E. Wolgin, What We Know About the Demographic and Economic Impacts of DACA Recipients: Spring 2020 Edition, Center for American Progress, Apr. 6, 2020 available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2020/04/06/482676/know-demographic-economic-impacts-daca-recipients-spring-2020-edition/.

[3] Id.

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