Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on July 20th, introduced the Dream Act of 2017, legislation aimed at granting legal status and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. The bipartisan legislation would also provide a long-term legislative solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program recipients and Dreamers.
Educators across the country enthusiastically welcome the Dream Act of 2017. This timely and bipartisan legislation upholds our country’s value of welcoming Dreamers and their diverse talents. More to the point, the Dream Act would allow Dreamers the certainty they deserve as they contribute to our country. These young people are our students, our friends, our peers, and they have lived in this country since they were children. They have built their lives here. They are Americans in every way except for their immigration status.
They are Americans in every way except for their immigration status.
We educate aspiring young Americans in our public schools, and they become a vital part of our economic engine, contributing to our society as engineers, nurses, small business owners, and, yes, educators. Regrettably the threats of deportation, as well as actual deportations of Dreamers, are sending shockwaves throughout our schools and communities and they are keeping Dreamers from realizing their full potential or realizing their talents in service to the schools, communities and nation they call home.
The time is now to protect DACA and to provide the certainty our Dreamers and their families deserve. It’s time to pass the Dream Act of 2017.
We commend Senators Durbin and Graham for doubling-down on their commitment to the nation’s Dreamers. We urge Congress and the Trump administration to act swiftly on the bipartisan legislation and do what is right for our students, their families and our communities. While we welcome this interim fix, it is not a permanent solution. We renew our call to Congress to ensure the immigration system works for all of us.
Lily Eskelsen García is President of the National