Dreamers are emblematic of America’s promise and our future. Yet as each day passes, they become more vulnerable to deportation. They have been fighting to protect their future for a long time, and with renewed urgency since the administration pulled the DACA rug out from under them. But they aren’t fighting alone.
Rallies and events are taking place across the country, including a rally planned for today that could bring as many as 10,000 people to the streets of Washington, D.C. to call for the Dream Act to be passed now. Across the country, Dreamers, their employers, and other community members are calling on Congress and the President to act. AILA members have been a key part of this fight all along the way. In the past few months, AILA members have visited over a hundred lawmakers, mostly Republicans, to tell them why Dream is so important and to urge Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell to bring the Dream Act for a vote.
Momentum has been building in Congress to act before the end of the year. In November, Senators Graham (R-SC) and Durbin (D-IL) called for the Dream Act to be added to the spending bill that must be passed in December. On Monday, Democratic leaders Schumer and Pelosi reiterated their willingness to meet with their Republican counterparts and President Trump to reach a bipartisan solution. And just yesterday, 34 Republicans signed a letter urging Speaker Ryan not to adjourn for the winter holidays without ensuring permanent protection for Dreamers—another powerful sign of the growing sense of urgency among Republicans.
The costs of inaction on Dream are too high. Every day that goes by without a solution, 122 young people lose their DACA status. Already, 10,939 people have lost their ability to work and their protection from deportation since the DACA program was rescinded on September 5. By March of next year, more than double that number will see their DACA protection expire, placing them at risk of immediate deportation. The uncertainty and elevated fear of being removed from the country they call home is likely to cause harmful physical and mental health consequences, according to mental health experts.
Alongside the many Dreamers who have come forward, AILA is fighting for change. We will keep the pressure on Congress to pass the Dream Act this year. Before Congress returns to their families and friends to celebrate the holidays, they need to do the right thing for Dreamers, for our communities, and for our country. #DreamActNow.