DACA and the Immigration Policy Mess: Pass the DREAM Act

Since I am an immigrant to the United States I want to comment on the Trump administration’s announcement yesterday to end DACA  (Uncertainty Wednesday will resume next week). I first came to the States as an exchange student in 1983 to 1984, when I lived with a wonderful family in Rochester Minnesota. One of my lasting memories is how quickly one can fall in love with a country as a child or young adult. For the DREAMERs, who all came to the United States as children and have grown up here, the United States is their home. Threatening to take that away from them is cruel. Doubly so after giving them hope first.

The blame for this situation though rests with Congress and past Presidents who have failed to make any meaningful progress on immigration reform. Right now, it is worth remembering now that the DREAM act has around for 16 years. There have been multiple attempts to pass it with at varying times support in the House and Senate, but never the two at the same time, including a bipartisan filibuster in the House that included 8 Democrats. The opposition by Democrats often arose because they wanted comprehensive immigration reform or nothing.

There is much more we need to fix about immigration, but passing the DREAM Act would be a good start. Everyone should be calling their representatives and senators and urge them to do this. It has broad public support. The key challenge will be not having it become a political football again with all sorts of crazy plans attached to it such as funding the border wall. That’s where pressure from citizens on their representatives will make a big difference, as well as senior leadership from both parties.

Let’s get the DREAM Act passed and let it be the beginning of a return to bipartisan politics!