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In House and Senate, Momentum Building to Protect DACA and Dreamers

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42 Senators send letter to President Trump calling for President to preserve DACA and reject attempt to threaten his executive authority; Bipartisan Dream Act introduced in House

Momentum continues to build in both the House and Senate on behalf of DACA and Dreamers.

Senate Democrats’ letter calls on President Trump to keep DACA in place, reject attempts by states and Jeff Sessions to threaten his executive authority over DACA program

A new letter from 42 Senate Democrats to President Trump calls on the President to keep the popular and successful DACA program in place. Led by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the Senators’ letter highlights reasons why DACA works and has been good for America, as well as a series of supportive comments that President Trump has made about DACA and Dreamers. The letter then describes the coordinated assault on DACA led by Texas AG Ken Paxton and nine other states to challenge “your authority as President” and notes that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been a willing ally of the states challenging and threatening President Trump over DACA:

While we appreciate your commitment to DACA, we are concerned that some members of your Administration have taken a different position. As a United States Senator, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was the Senate’s most vocal opponent of the Dreamers. While he is now a member of your Cabinet, the Attorney General has refused to defend your position on DACA,” citing recent and relevant instances of AG Sessions contradicting President Trump and welcoming the states’ threat to sue the president. The letter concludes by urging President Trump “to respond to this threat to your executive authority by directing the Attorney General to use all legal options to defend the DACA program and thereby allow a generation of young immigrants with great potential to continue contributing to our society and economy.

Bipartisan Dream Act of 2017 introduced in House

Yesterday, the bipartisan duo of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) introduced the House version of the Dream Act of 2017. Companion bipartisan legislation in the Senate was introduced last week by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Rep. Ros-Lehtinen stated, “For far too long, Dreamers have lived with the fear of deportation and an uncertainty about their future which negatively impacts their ability to succeed,” noting that the new bill would “keep the best and brightest in our country and improve our shared home.” Rep. Roybal-Allard noted, “Congress cannot allow DREAMers to be targeted. Congress must offer them hope. Congress must pass our DREAM Act.  I strongly urge all my House colleagues to co-sponsor this bill, and seize this precious opportunity to protect America’s DREAMers.”

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund:

We applaud the work that is being done in the Senate and House to protect Dreamers. DACA has been an unmitigated success, and President Trump should preserve it until Congress enacts a permanent solution. Dreamers deserve a chance to continue studying, working and contributing to their families until Congress creates a new roadmap to citizenship.