As each of us cherishes time spent with family and friends in this holiday season, let us also remember the nearly 800,000 young people eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) known as “Dreamers” living in our states. These are individuals who played no role in the decision to come here and they have known no other home but the United States.
Already, more than 12,000 Dreamers have lost their protective status and are susceptible to deportation. This is not a theoretical peril, but in fact an immediate and urgent one, because more than 100 young people in our cities and towns are losing their protective status every day. Those numbers will accelerate dramatically without a legislative fix.
Given this urgency, we encourage you to come together quickly to shape a bipartisan solution that allows our Dreamers to remain in the United States and continue their constructive contributions to our society.
We stand with these young American immigrants not only because it is good for our communities and a strong American 21st century economy, but also because it is the right thing for our nation to do.
As you know, DACA recipients have subjected themselves to extensive background and security checks in order to work and attend college. They are studying to be teachers, doctors and scientists at our universities. They are working to support themselves and their families, paying taxes and contributing to their communities in a myriad of ways. In the absence of congressional action providing for a permanent resolution, the termination of DACA puts these young people and their families in peril, and will destabilize our schools, workplaces and communities.
We recognize the complexities and challenges created by this issue, but swift, successful action is needed, action that can build momentum to reassure policymakers that progress on other immigration challenges is possible as well.
We urge you to support these young American immigrants by quickly sending a signal that we want them to continue to play a productive role in our communities. As a bipartisan coalition of governors, we stand ready to help.