OFFICIAL STATEMENT, PHILADELPHIA, PA: Esperanza strongly supports the Dream Act of 2017, a bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL). The Dream Act of 2017 would provide a pathway to lawful permanent residence to the more than 750,000 “Dreamers” in this country, if they meet certain requirements.
We have seen first-hand how the lives of immigrant youth in our communities have been transformed by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has provided temporary protection to many Dreamers since 2012. We have witnessed DACA recipients open their own businesses, become teachers, and join the armed forces in order to serve and protect our country. The program provides protection from deportation for undocumented young people who were brought to our country as children, as well as the opportunity to obtain lawful employment, pay taxes, and increase their assets. DACA has enabled Dreamers to become more productive members of society, participate openly in their communities, and become fully integrated into the American economy.
DACA, however, only provides temporary and short-term protection for these youth. Under the Dream Act, immigrants who came to the United States as children would have an opportunity to earn a more stabilized status in this country if they meet certain requirements, including graduating from high school or earning a GED, pursuing higher education, working lawfully for three years, or serving in this country’s military for two years. The Dream Act of 2017 would allow these young people the opportunity to live their lives more fully out of the shadows and make even more significant positive contributions to this country.
It is our hope that Congress will move quickly to accept and enact this legislation.