We urge the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation to pass the Dream Act


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The following letter was dated Jan. 18, a day before the federal government shut down over an impasse over the Dream Act. The shutdown ended Monday night after U.S. Senate Democrats agreed to restore funds to keep the government running for three more weeks in exchange for a promise by Republicans to hold a debate on the status of the young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

To the Editor:

Today, 143 organizations and bipartisan elected leaders - including Republican Mayor Fetick of Kennett Square and the mayors of West Chester, Philadelphia, Allentown and Pittsburgh - as well as faith leader sent a public letter to the Pennsylvania congressional delegation, urging the elected officials to pass the Dream Act by Jan. 19. As the letter states: “In the absence of congressional action providing a permanent solution for Dreamers, the termination of DACA puts these young people and their families in peril and will destabilize schools, workplaces, and communities in our state. ”

With a bipartisan agreement on the table, a united Congress can pass a lasting solution that will finally protect 800,000 immigrant youth from deportation, giving them the path to citizenship.

“The time has come for Congress to act,” stated Adanjesus Marin, Director of Make the Road PA. “No more excuses. It's time our leaders do the right thing for the thousands of Dreamers whose lives are in limbo. The majority of the public agrees that these young Americans deserve a chance to live, study and work without having to worry about whether they will never see their family again. Upending their lives is simply unacceptable. Congress must pass a solution tomorrow.”

In Pennsylvania, there are 5,889 Dreamers who contribute 230 million to our economy each year and an unquantifiable amount to our communities. Unfortunately, Dreamers’ abilities to contribute to their communities is at risk. President Donald Trump and White House advisor Stephen Miller’s nativist agenda and Republicans’ paralysis and indecisiveness are jeopardizing the passage of the Dream Act, despite its overwhelming public support.

“The time is now to to step up on behalf of Dreamers. Every day immigrant youth who have been playing by the rules continue to lose their status. The majority of this country backs us and there is no moral reason for this not to happen. We are calling on Congress and the President to do the right thing and pass a clean Dream Act now,” added Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA.

In fact, according to a Quinnipiac Poll, 84 percent of Americans and 70 percent of Republicans believe Dreamers should be allowed to stay in America and gain legal status; three former Department of Homeland Security Secretaries called on Congress to act by mid-January in a letter, and a Federal District Court in San Francisco issued an injunction urging the Trump Administration to reinstate DACA.

Now, the following Pennsylvania organizations and their leaders are echoing these calls and urging Senators Casey and Toomey and Representatives Brady, Evans, Kelly, Perry, Thompson, Costello, Meehan, Fitzpatrick, Shuster, Marino, Barletta, Rothfus, Boyle, Doyle, Dent, Smucker, and Cartwright to pass the Dream Act in the must pass spending bill by Jan. 19.

Bottom Line: With the lives of thousands of Dreamers at stake and an overwhelming call to action, it’s imperative Pennsylvania congressional delegation passes the Dream Act by Jan. 19.

Ashleigh Strange

Communications Director

Make the Road PA
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