It’s Time to Pass the DREAM Act

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was created to help undocumented young immigrants in New Mexico and across the country who were brought here as children through no fault of their own. Kids like Roxana, from Santa Fe, paid a fee, did important paperwork, and now have legal status so they can go to school and work. Roxana, 22, is a medical assistant at La Familia Medical Center and dreams of becoming a nurse. There are 6,800 young people like her in New Mexico contributing to our communities and our economy and hoping to live the American dream.

While DACA is far from the comprehensive immigration reform we need, it has been a lifeline for promising young people who know no other country than America. But last month, President Trump made the heartless decision to end DACA, putting their lives — and their families — in limbo. And now I need your help so we can provide them with certainty. Congress must pass the DREAM Act so these young immigrants no longer live in fear — and instead have the freedom to realize their full potential.

Earlier this fall, I met with young Dreamers from New Mexico who are fighting for their future in this country. They told me that DACA had given kids in their communities a chance to grow and thrive and to acquire the skills and the education they needed to support their families and strengthen their neighborhoods. They shared their fears that, without DACA, many will be forced to leave behind the life they’ve made here — to say goodbye to their future, friends, family and home — and be forced to start all over again in a country they’ve never known.

I later shared the stories of Roxana and other Dreamers in New Mexico in a speech on the Senate floor. Click here to watch.

Hearing these Dreamers’ stories, it’s clear that these kids are every bit as New Mexican and American as I am — except on paper. We share faith traditions and favorite restaurants. Our families attend the same schools, and hold the same high hopes for our children’s future. We all call this country home, and hope to leave it better off for the next generation.

Dreamers have earned our admiration and our support. I will do everything in my power to pass the DREAM Act and ensure that Congress pursues true immigration reform — so that anyone may chase the American dream that has drawn generations of immigrants to our shores and made our country what it is today.

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