There are 800,000 undocumented immigrants known as “DREAMers” living in the United States, as many as 20,000 of whom are Hudson Valley residents. Many of us work with DREAMers, go to school with DREAMers, or have a DREAMer as a next-door neighbor—and we may not even know it. But what we do know is that our fellow community members are at risk of being expelled from the United States, the only country they know as home.
This week, I had the privilege of joining DREAMers, immigration advocates, and legal experts for a roundtable discussion at Pace University Law School about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama-era program that protects DREAMers, and about the DREAM Act, legislation that would protect DREAMers from deportation and give them a path to citizenship.
Since the president made the callous decision earlier this month to end DACA, the need to pass the DREAM Act has become increasingly urgent. DREAMers serve in the military, pay billions in taxes, contribute to our economic growth and competitiveness, and enrich American society. Deporting these young people would not only be immoral, it would be unwise.
The DREAM Act is common-sense legislation, and I’m proud to cosponsor it. I’m hopeful that more of my Republican colleagues will do the same. Right now, nearly one million young immigrants are living in fear, faced with instability and uncertainty. That’s no way to live—and no way to treat our fellow Americans.
- Rep. Nita Lowey (D-Harrison)
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