We Must Stand Up for Dreamers and #DefendDACA

As the nation is still processing this weekend’s ghastly terrorist attack at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, hundreds of thousands of people in this country face yet another threat: the threat of being deported from the only country they call home. Today, on the heels of nationwide vigils that spoke out against racism, people all around the country will stand up once again on behalf of Dreamers, young immigrants who face an uncertain future under President Trump and his administration. Just as we stood against white supremacists, we must stand with the Dreamers as well.

Five years ago, President Obama announced a groundbreaking policy to give young undocumented immigrants a chance to stay in the country and to contribute to their families, their communities, and our economy. This policy, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), was a commonsense recognition that children who were brought here and have grown up here are just as much a part of this country as those born here, and it makes no sense to tear them away.

DACA provides these young people with a temporary reprieve from the threat of deportation and with work authorization if they come forward, pay fees, submit to background checks, and continue bettering their lives. More than 750,000 Dreamers now have DACA, and our country is better for it. Dreamers work as lawyers and doctors, attend schools, and are part of their communities. We have long urged Congress to pass the DREAM Act, which would give Dreamers the stability they deserve and put them on the path to citizenship — but while Congress fails to act, DACA has been profoundly successful.

Yet DACA has faced opposition from anti-immigrant forces from the start. And most recently, a group of 10 state attorneys general threatened to challenge the policy in court if President Trump does not abolish the program by September 5. If President Trump caves in to them — something he has threatened to do since his campaign — the lives of hundreds of thousands of these young immigrants will be thrown into chaos.

It would be nothing short of cruel and nonsensical for President Trump to pull the rug out from under Dreamers. Their cases are among the most sympathetic and compelling ones under our immigration system today. And under DACA, they are busy making valuable contributions to our communities, to the businesses that rely on them, and to our economy and social fabric as a whole.

Today, and in the coming weeks, I hope you’ll join me, United We Dream, NAKASEC, and dozens of other national organizations in speaking out in defense of our young Dreamers. Learn more about upcoming events at DefendDACA.com, call your representatives in Congress to demand that they pass the DREAM Act, and urge your friends to do the same.