Richmond, Virginia— Progress Virginia this morning condemned the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and called on Congress to act immediately to pass the bipartisan DREAM Act. Ending DACA endangers the lives and hopes of nearly 800,000 hardworking DACA recipients, also known as DREAMers, who use the program to attend college and get work permits.
“The young people who have benefited from DACA are the realization of the American dream,” said Anna Scholl, Executive Director of Progress Virginia. “They arrived in the U.S. as children and made it their home by contributing to their families and communities in powerful ways. Trump’s decision to end DACA is heartless and disregards the contributions DREAMers have made to our country. Congress must act immediately to protect DREAMers in our communities from this cruel action.”
According to the Interfaith Worker Justice, DACA has allowed 12,100 young people to live and work legally in Virginia. An April 2017 poll also found that 78 percent of American voters supported giving DREAMers a chance to stay permanently in the U.S.
It is now up to Congress to extend legal status to DREAMers. A bipartisan effort from both parties should make protecting DREAMers a priority this fall. Nothing less than a bill that offers young immigrants a pathway to citizenship is acceptable.