A federal judge in Texas with a history of issuing decisions hostile to immigration could issue a decision within days or weeks on the legality of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. If, as widely expected, he strikes DACA down, over 600,000 young adult Dreamers who came to the U.S. as children would be left without legal status. Their lives will be in legal limbo, harming them, their families, their employers and their communities.
Their futures cannot be left up to the courts. Only Congress can give a path to permanent residency to Dreamers and DACA holders who arrived in the U.S. as children.
The House of Representatives has already passed a bill to do just that. Now, the ball is in the Senate’s Court.
MeBIC partner, the American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC), and the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration has drafted a sign-on letter collecting signatures from business, higher education, and other civic and faith leaders from all 50 states calling on Senate leadership to move ahead on the bipartisan Dream Act of 2021.
If the federal court strikes down DACA, the letter will be sent to Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer immediately.
Maine’s economic leaders can sign the letter to show that immigration reform is critically needed for Maine, not just for the nation, by joining businesses and higher education institutions nationwide to send a strong message that the time to pass the Dream Act is now. Dreamers and DACA holders need to finally know that they can live permanently in the U.S. Passing the Dream Act is vital for them, for our communities, for our economy, and for our nation’s future.
As the letter explains:
“Dreamers are pillars of our nation’s economy and communities – 93 percent of them are employed, they pay close to $10 billion in taxes, and they carry nearly $20 billion in spending power. Nearly 40,000 Dreamers have started businesses and created new jobs for American workers, growing our entrepreneurial spirit. Dreamers are on the frontlines of the pandemic response. Almost 200,000 are essential workers – first responders, restaurant and grocery store workers, childcare providers and almost 30,000 healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses.”
Maine’s business voices matter in the push for federal immigration reform and passage of the Dream Act. You can join buisnesses nationwide by signing the letter here.