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Must-Read Washington Post Editorial: “Vote on the ‘Dreamers.’ Now”

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A must-read editorial in the Washington Post calls on Congress to “Vote on the ‘Dreamers.’ Now.”

The editorial highlights the overwhelming public support for Dreamers remaining in America as well as the fact that a “clear majority of lawmakers in both chambers on Capitol Hill” back legislation.

The opinion piece is especially tough on Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), calling out his “strategy of delay, deferral and dithering.”

Read the full editorial online here and find key excerpts below:

Quick, name a major public policy issue on which overwhelming numbers of Americans are united. Stumped? (Granted, it’s a short list.) Here’s one answer: allowing “dreamers” — young undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children — to remain in the United States if they pass background checks, go to school and fulfill other basic requirements. In a dozen polls this fall, including one released Tuesday, respondents who favor permitting dreamers to stay in the United States generally outnumber those who would deport them by at least 3-to-1, and often by 4-to-1 or 5-to-1.

The support for dreamers is bipartisan, and it shows up clearly and almost identically in surveys conducted by Fox News and CNN, among other media outlets, including The Post. Despite that, an array of bills that would protect dreamers from deportation, either by granting them a form of legal status or by putting them on short- or long-term pathways to citizenship, remain stalled in Congress.

The legislative inertia is all the more stupefying given the fact that a clear majority of lawmakers in both chambers on Capitol Hill would vote today to grant dreamers legal status or a route to citizenship. Last week, 34 Republicans in the House of Representatives wrote to Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) endorsing a “permanent legislative solution.”

…So far, though, Mr. Ryan seems to prefer a strategy of delay, deferral and dithering. He says he wants Congress to address the issue next year, free from the entanglements of other pressing year-end legislative business, including a spending package whose defeat would mean a government shutdown. But to many in Congress, his prescription sounds like a recipe for inaction — and, potentially, the deportation of thousands of dreamers as their DACA permits expire.

The dreamers, it seems, should in fact be very worried by what is happening in Washington. Under the deadline set by Mr. Trump, nearly 1,000 dreamers will lose their protection from deportation each day beginning March 5. At that point, a cohort of youngsters raised in this country will stop being bargaining chips; they will become part of an unfolding American tragedy. Congress should act now to forestall that completely avoidable, and inexcusable, outcome.