In a November 19, 2017 Bangor Daily News opinion piece, Maine State Chamber of Commerce CEO Dana Connors joined Cynthia Phinney, President of the Maine AFL-CIO, to urge Congress to pass legislation creating a path to permanent status for those holding Deferred Action for Childhood Removals (DACA) status, also known as Dreamers. These are immigrants who entered the U.S. when they were children, who have lived here for at least ten years, and for many of whom the U.S. is the only home that they can remember.
Approximately 800,000 immigrants benefited from the DACA program before it was rescinded by the current Administration on September 5, 2017. Without Congressional action, beginning on March 6, 2018, each week more than 8500 immigrants with DACA will lose their permission to live and work legally in the U.S. The Dream Act of 2017 (S. 1615, H.R. 3440) would allow those who have DACA to apply for permanent residency, an option that doesn’t exist for the vast majority of them under current law.
Dana Connors is on MeBIC’s Board of Directors, and the Maine State Chamber of Commerce is a MeBIC Partner.