34 House Republicans have signed a letter calling on House Speaker Paul Ryan to bring up legislation to protect hundreds of thousands of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients by the end of this year. The Trump administration set up an arbitrary March 2018 deadline for Congress to act on legislation, but more than 10,000 DACA recipients have already lost their work permits and protection from deportation. 122 DACA recipients continue to lose their DACA status every single day and without permanent protections, that number will surge to 1,400 DACA recipients daily:
While we firmly believe Congress must work to address other issues within our broken immigration system, it is imperative that Republicans and Democrats come together to solve this problem now and not wait until next year. We all agree that our border must be enforced, our national security defended, and our broken immigration system reformed, but in this moment, we must address the urgent matter before us in a balanced approach that does not harm valuable sectors of our economy nor the lives of these hardworking young people. We must pass legislation that protects DACA recipients from deportation and gives them the opportunity to apply for a more secure status in our country as soon as possible. Reaching across the aisle to protect DACA recipients before the holidays is the right thing to do.
Dreamers have no time to wait, with a number of House and Senate Democrats already stressing that they won’t vote for the year-end spending package without a vote for the DREAM Act, which would put immigrant youth on a path to citizenship.
“We are compelled to act immediately because many DACA recipients are about to lose or have already lost their permits in the wake of the program’s rescission,” House Republicans state. “Not acting is creating understandable uncertainty and anxiety amongst immigrant communities.”
This letter only adds to the bipartisan support undocumented immigrant youth have earned in their years-long fight to legalize their status in the only country they’ve ever known as home. Among voters, the consensus has been clear. A Fox News poll found that 62 percent of Americans say it is “extremely or very important for Congress to pass legislation to address the Dreamers,” while an NBC/Washington Post poll showed that nearly 90 percent of Americans support letting undocumented immigrant youth stay.