Pass the Dream Act Now
*We first published this piece December 20, 2017, before Congress passed a short-term spending resolution, which expires this Friday. We are re-publishing now because the Dreamers’ need is more dire than ever, and the time for action has come.
Congress has an opportunity to make history this week, as the need for a spending resolution to continue funding the government creates an opportunity to incorporate the Dream Act into must-pass legislation before January 19. If the Dream Act is passed — after nearly 10 years in the making — undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as children will be granted legal status. Known as Dreamers, these young people will be allowed to work, pay taxes, go to school and contribute to their communities without fear.
When the Trump Administration rescinded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in September, they triggered a countdown to March 5, after which 800,000 Dreamers will face deportation without a legislative solution. Arrests and deportations from the interior (as opposed to the border) increased by 42% in 2017, and ICE is expanding its detention capacity to accelerate this process.
The stakes are particularly high for our Bay Area community. 9% of California workers are undocumented, and with every day the Dream Act fails to pass, 122 DACA recipients lose their work status and risk deportation. Since September 5, 16,000 Dreamers have lost their status and their security. For many, it would mean leaving the only country they’ve ever known. Economists predict that mass deportation of Dreamers will result in a $433 billion GDP loss over the next decade.
The recent court ruling in favor of DACA, while encouraging, is not a long-term solution. We call on our elected representatives to move without delay to establish permanent protections for the Dreamers
Our Community Speaks: Our grantees are using their voices to call on Congress to pass the Dream Act now:
#GiveDignity — Mission Asset Fund
“ICE is stepping up raids across the country. Dreamers with disabilities are being held in detention. Mixed-status families are facing a future where parents cannot live with their kids.
With each new effort to erode the diversity and dignity of our nation, we sprang into action — providing DACA scholarships, emergency loans, and financial emergency plans.
The fight doesn’t stop there. Choose love by helping immigrant communities start businesses, save for college, become citizens, and more. With your support, we can help families protect their livelihoods.”
“At Teach For America, we believe that every child deserves an equitable and excellent education. Depriving any student of the chance to learn and grow in our classrooms deprives our country of future leaders and contributors to our society and economy. Guided by this belief, we have long supported pathways to citizenship for those who came to the United States as children without documentation.
We supported the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act in 2011; we backed the interim solution of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) in 2012; and we support this new, bipartisan legislation that would allow DREAMers to earn lawful permanent residence and have access to a path toward citizenship.”
— Elisa Villanueva Beard, CEO, Teach for America
“Hundreds of thousands of young people’s lives are on the line. That requires us to find new ways to engage audiences that don’t understand the threat these young people are facing.”
— Laurene Powell Jobs, Co-Founder, College Track
Act now: Express your support for the Dream Act