The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill signed today leaves out any solution for the young adults known as Dreamers whose futures are at risk due to the Administration’s rescission of the DACA program.
This is despite overwhelming bipartisan public support for a path to permanent residency for these individuals, who arrived in the U.S. as children and for whom the U.S. has been their only home for at least 11, to as many as 35 years.
It is also despite the efforts of many members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, to include a solution for DACA/Dreamers in the spending bill. Their efforts could not overcome the shifting positions of President Trump, who ultimately repeatedly rejected bipartisan proposals. As recently as last week, the President said he would accept a spending bill that included a three year extension of status for DACA/Dreamers in exchange for three years of border wall funding, and then retreated from that stance.
For the time being, due to federal court orders, DACA renewal applications are still being processed, but no new applications will be accepted. DACA eligible individuals who have grown up here and have turned 15 after DACA was rescinded are therefore unable to apply, putting the brakes on their hopes, and our country’s ability to benefit from their full potential. And the federal court orders offer only a temporary reprieve.
The lack of a solution for the nearly 800,000 DACA/Dreamers is not only cruel, but it is damaging to our country’s values, and to our economic future. We must keep the pressure on to find a fix for these individuals who are already fully part of and contributing to our society, so that they can continue to do so. Their families, their communities, and their employers will suffer along with them if they cannot remain legally in the United States.