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North Dakota Leaders Show Support for Dreamers

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The government shutdown is officially over, and Congress has once again failed to pass legislation that protects Dreamers. This happened despite an abundance of polls showing that supermajorities of Americans support immigrant youth and want their elected officials to take action.

Some of this support has shown up in non-traditional, non-immigrant-strongholds like North Dakota, where only about 100 DACA recipients live (out of 800,000 total nationwide). North Dakota is represented by U.S. Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D) and John Hoeven (R), and Rep. Kevin Cramer (R). In the last few days, local elected officials and opinion writers have publicly encouraged support for Dreamers via letters to the editor and other pieces.

Check out this letter to the editor from state Sen. Tim Mathern (D-Fargo):

She dreams of becoming a nurse to care for others. She graduated with perfect grades from West Fargo High School, and has started college at the University of Jamestown to obtain her degree. The difference for Grace is that she was born outside the U.S., arriving as a toddler to be with her family. Now her life is in turmoil as she waits for Congress to determine her future and her fate…

Grace is one of millions around the world we can help through correct public policy. Please join me in urging Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven and Rep. Kevin Cramer not to deport 800,000 young people and to keep these dreams, and these DREAMers, alive. It benefits them and us!

And another one from Bruce Furness, the former mayor of Fargo:

Though not receiving a great deal of attention in North Dakota, DACA has allowed nearly 100 young people to come forward, pass background checks, and live and work legally in our state. DACA helps these young people thrive economically and educationally…

The arrival of people with new accents, new ideas and new ways of doing things are part of what fueled the growth of Fargo while I served as its Mayor. We welcomed people from all parts of the U.S. and the world to help grow our economy and fill job openings. With nearly 13,000 openings in North Dakota today, we can look to the DREAMers to help keep our state’s future economy strong and vibrant…

I urge you to contact Senator Hoeven, Senator Heitkamp and Representative Cramer to gain their support for the re-establishment of DACA. We need quick restoration, not only to strengthen the economy but because it’s the right thing to do.

At Inforum, Scott Hoaby published a column explaining DACA and calling it unfair that more Dreamers aren’t protected:

The current immigration codes already contain many provisions or lead to results that are unfair. We do not need more. The third takeaway is that the DACA discussion reveals the urgent need, once again, for comprehensive immigration reform to make immigration policy more fair. This is not just a policy issue. Human lives are at stake. Many of those waiting and hoping for a fair response to their contributions to the U.S. are not getting any younger.

This kind of pro-Dreamer support is reflected in all kinds of towns and cities across America, from Florida to Maine to Utah to Kansas to Missouri to Oregon. The actions, rallies, and demonstrations we’ve seen in the last year prove it. Americans want a solution for Dreamers — it’s just members of Congress who don’t seem to realize it.