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With less than 50 days until President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, there is burgeoning support for DREAMers and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program across the nation. Last week, Global Strategy Group released a new poll showing that by more than a 2:1 margin, 58%-28%, Americans oppose an effort to repeal the DACA program for DREAMers.
Said Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice Education Fund: “From elected officials to community leaders, Americans recognize the contributions of DREAMers to the country we all share and stand united against Trump’s pledge to end DACA on day one of his presidency. Meanwhile, the parallel silence from the GOP leadership, Trump, and the incoming Administration is deafening.”
Below, we highlight the calls-to-action from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Representative Luis Gutiérrez (IL-04), and Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
Senate Minority Leader Reid called for the incoming Trump Administration and Congress to protect DACA and DREAMers such as Brenda Romero, a Las Vegas DREAMer who, with DACA, “was able to pay her way at the College of Southern Nevada. Brenda became student body president, working to help other students with similar struggles. Brenda graduated with an associate’s degree in art in May and is now studying human services at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. As part of the Undocu-network Club at UNLV, Brenda is helping to bring counseling and services to students in need and promoting visibility for undocumented students to the school administration.” Reid called on Republicans to pass the DREAM Act to protect DREAMers and their contributions to our country.
Yesterday, Senator Blumenthal held the Senate floor to encourage his colleagues to pass comprehensive immigration reform and to remind listeners about the importance of DACA. For weeks, he has been bringing photos of Connecticut DREAMers to the floor to remind his fellow Senators that the relief for DREAMers is in the nation’s best interests.
In his plea to protect DACA, Senator Blumenthal reminded us that “DREAMers are members of our society, brought to this country as children, some before they even learned to speak, but now, for almost all of them, English is their native language. This Nation is the only home they have ever known. They pledge allegiance to the flag… As DREAMers, their dream is American citizenship, which all too often many of us take for granted. Their dream is American citizenship in the best sense of it–giving back to the country that they regard as their home, giving back by using those talents as nurses and doctors to help the sick, as engineers and scientists to build inventions and advance our knowledge, as entrepreneurs to build businesses and employ people and create jobs and drive the economy forward. In fact, immigration reform and these programs are thought to be job creators and sources of economic profit.” Today, he’ll re-emphasize the call to action in a speech in Connecticut.
Representative Gutiérrez has also shared the stories of DREAMers such as Jose, the first DACA-recipient in Illinois, to remind fellow Americans that DACA is not just about policy, it’s about our neighbors, colleagues, and friends.
Yesterday, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) confirmed in a floor speech that he and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are coordinating on a draft bipartisan bill to protect DACA-eligible Dreamers from President-elect Trump.
“Americans are in agreement that taking work permits away from young people and putting them back in line for deportation is cruel and wrong,” continued Tramonte. “It’s time for Republican ‘leaders’ to catch up.”
A state-by-state overview of quotes from community leaders on Trump’s immigration plans are available here.