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When it comes to Dreamers, Americans understand it is time to legalize these young people – recognizing Dreamers and other deeply-rooted immigrants are members of the American family and are already contributors to America’s success. The bold set of pro-Dreamer measures introduced by 2020 Democratic contender Senator Kamala Harris yesterday are the latest reminder that Democrats, backed by the strong majority of Americans, are seeking to solve real problems on immigration and a range of issues.
Meanwhile, the Trump Administration and the vast majority of fellow Republican elected officials are continuing attempts to place Dreamers and other long-standing immigrants on a path to deportation – seeking to end the DACA program, including fast-tracking legal action against DACA at the Supreme Court, and continuing to portray immigrants as threats and “the other.” Today at the U.S. Supreme Court, justices are meeting at a private conference to decide whether to hear the DACA case next year (potentially injecting the issue directly into the 2020 race).
While the Trump administration’s intent is to make immigration a contentious issue, the American public doesn’t view Dreamers’ citizenship as divisive. Recent polling from Global Strategy Group, on behalf of FWD.us found that Americans back citizenship for Dreamers by a margin of 77% – 18%. Democrats support citizenship for Dreamers by 90% – 6%; independents by a 71% – 17% margin; and Republicans support the measure by a 64% – 31% margin.
Recent polling also finds that Americans are growing increasingly pro-immigrant in the Trump era – with record-high percentages thinking immigration is a good thing and the public consistently backing earned citizenship for immigrants with deep ties to the U.S. This public sentiment is matched by the real facts on the ground that show that the nation’s undocumented population – including Dreamers – are increasingly integrated into the fabric of American life. Yesterday, the Pew Research Center released the latest deep dive into the number and composition of the unauthorized immigrant population in the U.S. Overall, the undocumented population has declined from 12.2 million in 2007 to 10.5 million in 2017, the latest year examined in detail by Pew. The report also found:
In 2017, the typical unauthorized immigrant adult had lived in the U.S. for 15 years. That is the longest median duration of residence since 1995, when Pew Research Center estimates began. In 2017, only 20% of unauthorized immigrant adults lived in the U.S. for five years or less, down from 30% a decade earlier. About two-thirds of unauthorized immigrants have been in the U.S. for more than 10 years; a decade earlier, less than half had.
According to Pili Tobar, Deputy Director of America’s Voice: “Democrats are increasingly leaning into this issue, recognizing the realities of the deeply-rooted immigrant population and the accompanying pro-immigrant public sentiment. Senator Harris yesterday issued a bold set of ideas to replace Dreamers’ ongoing anxiety and uncertainty with permanent solutions, but that is just one example. Coming on the heels of the House’s recent passage of the American Dream and Promise Act, the Harris proposals along with pro-immigrant plans and ideas unveiled by fellow 2020 contenders such as Joaquin Castro, Beto O’Rourke, and Gov. Jay Inslee are another sign that the Democratic Party is rightfully standing with the majority of the public; learning lessons from the 2018 midterms and the backlash to xenophobia; and embracing the contrast with Trump’s divisive rhetoric and floundering actions on immigration. The American people are coming to realize that on his number one issue, Trump is both a hypocrite and a failure.”