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Today, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced that he and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) will introduce the Bridge Act, which if passed would provide “provisional protected status” for the undocumented youth who currently qualify for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) are original co-sponsors.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “This is an important step forward in the effort to save DACA for DREAMers who are Americans in all but paperwork. We congratulate the Senators for working together in a bipartisan fashion to propose this modest measure that would allow young immigrants to continue living, working and studying without fear. It is not the broad reform that the country needs and that the American people support, but it would at least avert the disruption and heartbreak that would accompany a revocation of DACA.”
Juan Escalante, DREAMer and Digital Campaign Manager of America’s Voice, added “By introducing the Bridge Act, Senators Durbin and Graham send a powerful message to the rest of the country regarding the contributions of young immigrants known as DREAMers. If signed into law, the Bridge Act would allow immigrants who benefit and qualify for President Obama’s 2012 DACA program to continue to live and work without the constant fear of deportation, but more importantly, contribute back to the country they call home. Thanks to DACA I was able to pursue a Master’s degree in my preferred field of study, get a job, and help both of my brothers enroll in college. These are the kinds of benefits DACA provides to DREAMers, which is why ending DACA without a legislative replacement is unwise – as it would leave thousands of hardworking Americans without an immigration status and exposed to the threat of imminent deportation.”
Since its 2012 launch, DACA has been a popular and unqualified success, helping to drive economic growth, bolster job creation, keep families together, promote education and community integration, and strengthen civic ties throughout the country. A recent economic analysis from the Center for American Progress found that “ending DACA would wipe away at least $433.4 billion from the U.S. gross domestic product” over the next decade.
The New York Times editorial board has been documenting the stories of young DREAMers, currently protected from deportation under President Obama’s DACA program.