FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2017
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279
NILC Responds to Reports of Potential New “Dream Act”
WASHINGTON — Late Monday night, news media reported that U.S. senators may introduce a new, bipartisan bill this week to provide a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrant youth. The news follows worrisome comments from high-level Trump administration officials concerning the future of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which authorizes some immigrant youth to live and work in the U.S. temporarily.
Kamal Essaheb, policy and advocacy director at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:
“Five years ago, the DACA program unlocked the door for immigrant youth who had previously been unfairly shut out from many of the opportunities enjoyed by their peers. Hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients are now going to school, working, and contributing more fully to our communities. DACA is hugely successful, and President Trump must keep it, regardless of any legislative prospect for a longer-term solution.
“Since Trump took office, his administration’s doublespeak on DACA has forced immigrant youth to grapple with uncertainty and fear. The renewed introduction of the Dream Act, which has always enjoyed broad, bipartisan support, underscores the urgency of continuing to protect immigrant youth and to keep in place policies that allow them to thrive. Anything short of that would not only be morally wrong, it would be disastrous for communities and the economy.
“As the president has said, the future of DACA is his decision to make. In making his decision, he can’t succumb to bullying by anti-immigrant hardliners trying to force his hand, and he must not forget that the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and their families hang in the balance. It’s past time for the president to stand definitively by the DACA program.”
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