Sixty-six organizations and elected and faith leaders sent a public letter Wednesday to the Virginia congressional delegation urging the elected officials to pass the DREAM Act by January 19th. 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 and create a path to citizenship.
“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,” stated Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA.
In Virginia, there are 12,134 Dreamers who contribute 519 million to our economy each year and an unquantifiable amount to our communities. Unfortunately, Dreamers’ ability 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.
Sookyung Oh, D.C. Area Director of NAKASEC, added, “The Virginia congressional delegation has a clear choice in front of them in January. Will they fund the deportation of 800,000 young Americans who have grown up here? Or will they take a stand and be on the right side of history?”
In fact, according to a Quinnipiac Poll, 84% of Americans and 70% 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 Virginia organizations and their leaders are echoing these calls and urging Senators Warner and Kaine and Representatives Wittman, Taylor, Scott, McEachin, Garrett, Goodlatte, Brat, Beyer, Griffith, Comstock, and Connolly to pass the DREAM Act in the must pass spending bill by January 19th.