Dreamers push #DreamActNow, while Trump, congressional leaders play politics

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by Félix Pérez; image courtesy of United We Dream

Dreamers and their allies, including educators, civil rights organizations, faith leaders and the business community, are continuing to push Congress for a bipartisan, legislative solution that safeguards Dreamers’ futures, despite the political gamesmanship being waged by President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress.

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White House blueprint released yesterday — providing Dreamers a pathway to citizenship in exchange for sharply restricting family-based immigration and calling for $25 billion in spending for a border wall — has met with stiff opposition from Dreamers, Republicans and Democrats alike. Trump set the stage for the impasse in September when he rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which gives Dreamers renewable permission to study and work. Last week’s government shutdown was triggered by Trump’s last-minute refusal to support a bipartisan Dreamer plan despite his publicly televised pledge to the plan’s drafters.

The on again-off again political posturing by Trump and congressional Republican leaders flies in the face of overwhelming public support for a Dreamer solution. Nearly 9 in 10 Americans (87 percent) believe Dreamers should be allowed to remain in the United States, according to a national poll conducted this month by CBS News. The poll is in line with several others.

Lily Eskelsen García, a Utah teacher and president of the National Education Association, called on Trump and congressional leaders to “stop playing politics” with Dreamers’ lives. She said:

The politics of inaction on a permanent solution to DACA are hurting real people. One hundred and twenty DACA recipients are losing their protected status each day that goes by. More than 16,500 DACA recipients have already lost their protected status—including educators—due completely to the cruel, unnecessary and anti-immigrant action by Donald Trump to revoke that protection. When DACA educators lose their protected status, they also lose their work permits. This unnecessarily prevents them from teaching our students and exposes them to deportation.

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The recent government shutdown ended with an agreement that the Senate will take up legislation to protect the DACA Dreamers, who include 600,000 high school and college students.. Bu the fight is far from over, said Marc Egan, director of NEA Government Relations. “We cannot allow the lives of Dreamers — which include 8,800 educators — to be used as a political tool any longer. Republicans and Democrats alike need to hear our voices now. Even if you’ve done it before, dial 1-855-764-1010 right now and call your senators and representative. We must build momentum to get the Senate to vote to protect the Dreamers and pressure the House.”

DACA recipient and Texas high school senior Indira Márquez captured the “constant anxiety” she and other Dreamers live with in a column she wrote for the Daily Beast. “The cruel truth is that I have an expiration date. I can’t eagerly plan for my future like other teenagers. Instead, without DACA, I have to prepare to live without the ability to drive, get health insurance, or work and pay for my college tuition. And without a path toward citizenship, I now have to prepare for the real possibility that I could face detention and deportation.

“I could face deportation for something as small as a traffic ticket, or, because I live in Texas, any chance encounter with a police officer.

“This is definitely not how I had hoped to spend my senior year of high school. It’s not how thousands of immigrant youth had planned to live their lives: living in limbo.”

Eskelsen García said, “Stop playing politics with their lives. There are enough votes — from both sides of the political aisle — to pass this important piece of legislation now. We are not going away. We will not quit. We will not back down. We will continue to raise our voices to defend and protect Dreamers. And we will stay vigilant to make sure Congress does more than pay lip service to the promises they are making.”

Reader Comments

  1. Defunding the public schools?????? Betsy de Vos is not defunding the public schools……..they are already inadequately funded………….some of this is due to illegal immigration, as well as, other public entities, suffering from illegal immigration……you could get the facts if you so wished, or, do the facts matter to you???……maybe not…….the way you are criticizing Betsy de Vos……….!!!!!!!!!!!! segregation??????????? what a joke???? get it together, Mae…………….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Betsy De Vos is not defunding the public schools, the public schools are already suffering from inadequate funding….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Illegal immigration is contributing to the lack of funding in the public schools, as well as, other public entities………..Read up, follow up, and get the facts……..before criticizing her…………..!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Mae,
    You should do the same……………pay 10 times your tax share and contribute to the ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT FUND..!!
    This could ease your mind…….Request they give all your tax access to the public schools….!!!!!!!!!! This can ease your bleeding heart as a liberal>>>>>>>>>>>>!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Mainstream Republicans of WA State, of which I’ve been a board member for over twenty-five years, has taken a public stance in support of DACA Dreamers. They have held a public forum in the 8th Congressional District at which their support was made public. They have called upon Congress to expedite legislation to resolve the status of DACA Dreamers so that they may remain in the United State, continue both their education and their contributions to our society and economy, and eventually find a legitimate pathway to citizenship. See the statement below:

    Mainstream Republicans of Washington and MRW Alliance respectfully ask that Republicans in the United States Congress make it a top priority to adopt legislation that would prevent deportation and provide permanent legal status for so-called “Dreamers,” children who were brought into this country unlawfully.

    While our nation must enforce its laws, American justice does not punish children for actions of others. Deporting children to a country many have never known is not a fair and just punishment, would be inconsistent with our values and harm the economy of our states and the country.

    •The West was settled by pioneers often more interested in what immigrants could do to build our communities than where they came from or under what circumstances.
    •Our great trades, industries and economic sectors—agriculture, aerospace, fishing, software, timber, and many others—have all been built in part by, and are reliant for continued success on, immigrants from all corners of the world.
    •The DREAM Act was first introduced in the Senate as a bipartisan bill in 2001, and has been reintroduced several times since. The 2017 DREAM Act has bipartisan support, including Republican Senators from Alaska, Arizona and Colorado.
    •A 2012 executive order, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), gave legal status to children who entered the country unlawfully. Individuals covered by DACA are referred to as “Dreamers” after the Dream Act.
    •Under DACA, Dreamers register with the federal government, and in return receive a renewable two-year deferment from deportation and are eligible for a work permit. To be eligible, recipients may not have committed felonies or serious misdemeanors.
    •More than 800,000 Dreamers registered with the federal government. We have invested in their education and training, and they have become contributing members of our communities, working in diverse trades and professions, attending, and serving the public through the military and law enforcement. The Pacific Northwest has an estimated 28,000 Dreamers, with 17,000 in Washington State.
    •In September 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions found the executive order was unlawful, and President Trump rescinded it effective March 2018. If Congress does not take action, in March 2018 the federal government will begin deporting the Dreamers.
    •The conservative CATO Institute has estimated that repealing DACA would result in a $280 billion reduction in economic growth over the next decade.
    •President Trump has supported path to legal status for Dreamers through a lawful legislative process, and said “It is now time for Congress to act!”
    •We concur with the President, and ask that the Republicans in Congress make this a top priority.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Mainstream Republicans of Washington and MRW Alliance
    Michael Karlis Vaska, Chair

    1. Mr. Karlis,
      For some reason, you don’t seem to understand, as Americans, we are not allowed to choose which laws we want to enforce…!!!! Illegal immigration has been illegal for years and is STILL ILLEGAL according to the U.S. laws outlined in the U.S. Constitution……!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET IT…………!!!!!!!!!!!!! It doesn’t matter how someone got here illegally………………..They are still ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS>>>>>>>>>>>>
      As a legal, taxpaying citizen, I prefer my tax dollars be spent on VETERANS, THE ELDERLY, EDUCATING LEGAL CITIZENS, HEALTHCARE FOR U.S. CITIZENS, & NATIONAL SECURITY FOR MY CHILDREN & GRANDCHILDREN……………!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      & by the way, our economy has been harmed severely by illegal immigrants…………check your facts before you
      spout this incorrectly, which you have……….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. WOW……..!!!!!!!!!!!!! Amelia>>>>>>>>>>>>>>you’re out there>>>>>>for your info………..ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS RUINING AMERICA……………And, making our streets unsafe…………..just ask the citizens who have had loved ones killed by illegal immigrants…………??????????? That will give you your answer on what is ruining America,,!!!!!!!

    2. Is there a sane argument, anywhere, that supports the idea that breaking US laws is good for the nation? How can anyone, other than an illegal immigrant, think that ignoring US law is a good thing?

  5. With more illegal aliens populating our schools it is obvious that the quality will go down. Progressive politicians will mandate instruction in dozens of different languages straining budgets, mandatory ‘free’ (ie tax payer funded) health care will be provided to illegals, meals will be handed out while citizens suffer. But gee whiz, ‘through no fault of their own.’ Illegal is illegal.

    1. take a look at the outstanding students in your local district – if there are non white students there they are usually the outstanding ones – legal or not because their parents value education so much- check out the nationalities of your Doctors in local hospitals and those in medical schools – Betsy DeVoss wants to make our public schools catholic and funded by all taxpayers even though most catholic schools and charter schools are no better than public schools and because they are for profit they can shut down at any time and leave hundreds/thousands of kids scrambling for another source of education or teachers/employees a job. There is not one school district that I have ever heard of that is instructing students in dozens of languages do you have a reputable source for this statement? Free health care and meals are provided for illegals only by those with compassion who would see no person sick or hungry, not by the government and they would not turn away citizens for food or care either , that is what caring people do for those in need. These were children brought here who certainly didn’t have a say in the decision made by adults – they probably were ignorant of the facts because of their age and if they were aware how many children would say they wanted to stay behind without their parents?

      1. Ms. Baker,
        You are sorely misinformed about the schools. I am a retired school teacher and have taught in several schools around the country……I can, first hand, tell you that you DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT……………Get the facts, before sounding off like you are doing…………….and then you can have an educated opinion and someone may be interested in listening to you…………otherwise, KEEP QUIET…..!!!!

      2. For what its worth, illegal immigrants, ie ‘dreamers’, have a high school drop out rate about 3 times the overall US rate. Interesting statement that non-white students are usually the outstanding ones. Interesting observation.

      3. Maybe the parents of these illegals ought to have stayed in their own native countries and worked to improve the situation there. Not come to America ILLEGALLY. Why do we want people who have not resepct for law in this nation when they won’t defend their beliefs in their native land? Do you really think they are going to give up their native customs, language, etc and swear singular allegiance to the USA?

    2. MarineBob: The issue is not legal v. illegal; it is whether or not under our law a person can be blamed for the action of another or a person below the age of consent can be blamed for an illegal act in which they were involved. As for the rest of your comment, it is the wildest of speculation, creating an unproven event against which you can argue. That’s called a straw man argument and it’s among a series of logical fallacies.

      1. WOW, Kenneth,
        Logical fallacies…………news flash for you………..our country is already built………..illegal immigration is not building our country at this time—-not at all……….where did you hear this?????? by the way, take your argument to the citizens who have deceased family members who were put in the ground by illegal immigrants in recent years……..see if they can sympathize with your opinion!!!!!!! Oh, and our education system just can’t get enough taxpayer dollars to fund it…………imagine that…………..illegal immigration has given this burden to the taxpayer, as well as, our health care system, which also just can’t get enough taxpayer dollars to fund it…………..another burden given to us by illegal immigration…………..!!!!!!!! I could go on and on and on…………..I didn’t read anything in your comments about closing the border and national security………….oh, that’s not on your mind……………Right??????????? You need to be referring to yourself as a LIBERAL not a CONSERVATIVE…………Don’t you think our VETERANS could use the funding instead of illegal immigration…………Didn’t hear your mention the veterans??????? Get a life—Kenneth!!!
        Signed, A PATRIOTIC AMERICAN

      2. Well it would seem then that the illegal parents ought to be tossed out of the country and take their illegal kids with them. Pretty simple really

    3. If DACA recipients end up being deported, our US economy will tank. Food prices will go up because there won’t be people to harvest crops, process meats, or to fill in the gaps that will be created in our work force.
      No one gets food stamps for free, people have to work at least 20 hours a week to be eligible.

      1. A WILD IMAGINATION to the TeacherWhoKnows…………….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I sure am thankful you are not teaching my children and grandchildren>>>>>>>>>> where did you get your info on food stamps?????
        We fought WW11 without millions of illegal immigrants in our work force, what makes you think our economy will tank without illegal immigrants………..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What planet are you living on??????????????

    4. I’m sorry for whatever has happened in your life to make you so small and close minded. I hope you are thankful everyday that the indigenous people of this country didn’t feel that way about your ancestors when they invaded.

    5. This article is speaking of the Dreamers not illegals in general. Over 600,000 of these Dreamers are currently in high school and/or being college educated. Yet you’re predicting a drop in the quality of education you think will happen in the future as a result of their presence now. Got a newsflash for you – that ship has sailed since the majority of these students being considered as part of the DACA program will be finished their public system experience altogether in a few years.

      Yet now that they’re ready to become fully functioning contributors to the workforce with the ability to give back for the services we provided to them, you’d like nothing better than to see them up and deported for a situation created “through no fault of their own.” Not even considering the humanitarian aspect, your argument makes absolutely zero sense from an economic standpoint. Fortunately, almost 9 in 10 Americans don’t agree with you…and neither does your president.

      1. Of course you forgot to mention that the high school drop out rate of ‘dreamers’ is over three times the rate of American students in general. And by the way, apparently you haven’t read the news for the past year and or so. Trump is your president also. Why is it that you accept that breaking the laws of this nation are OK? What other laws (besides illegal immigration) do you think we ought to ignore?

        The net cost of illegal immigration is estimated to be $50-100 billion per year considering tax payer supported health care, subsidized housing, education support, legal costs. Why do you think the tax payers of this nation ought to be paying for those who entered this country illegally while American citizens need help? Totally illogical.

        1. Marine Bob – Congratulations on selectively stating the facts. You failed to mention that the primary reason cited for the higher dropout rate among Dreamers was their immigration status. Having interviewed hundreds of Dreamers, a Harvard study found many are returning to GED programs, workforce development, certificate programs, and college campuses.

          Once again, you continue to push this lawbreakers narrative and fail to acknowledge that these were innocent kids when they were brought here. They’re not lawbreakers in the traditional sense. They’re not to blame for the sins of their parents. But if that’s your twisted logic, next time you’re cited for jaywalking, littering, or a traffic violation, we’ll levy separate fines for everyone in your family. That would be an appropriate response since you seem to believe that everyone is culpable, including children, for your actions.

          1. Hans,
            Why don’t you get facts also…….you just want to criticize the truth that Bob is presenting to you…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What an idiot you are……..!!!!!!!!!!!!! if you are so sold on your own justification….then maybe you could pay 10 times your tax obligation and this can fund a special fund for ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION……………….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ARE THE ONE THAT HAS NO LOGIC OR FACTS……………….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You sound just like a LIBERAL…………I’m sure you are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            1. MarineBob – During the night you must’ve left the attic door open and your feral sibling named Kathy Hanson escaped. You need to re-install the childproof lock on your keyboard.

          2. I got to say, for a person who presents themselves as an open minded illegal idea supporting whatever, you certainly don’t like any thought that does not coincide with yours. Why haven’t you told me to not post here any more? That is your usual approach.

            I do find your myopic view of law interesting. Dreamers are not ‘lawbreakers in the traditional sense.’ By logic then, seems that non-traditional lawbreaking is OK? Must be something like non traditional logic.

            1. MarineBob – This is an open forum for debate so I would never tell you not to post here. But as far as Dreamers’ being non-traditional lawbreakers, I would refer you to what Kenneth Mortland stated above:

              “While our nation must enforce its laws, American justice does not punish children for the actions of others. Deporting children to a country many have never known is not a fair and just punishment, would be inconsistent with our values and harm the economy of our states and the country.”

              Why can’t you empathize with this argument? When it comes to the issue of children, I see your intractability as less a functional of wanting strict adherence to the law, and more a deep-seated hatred of immigrants.

            2. Couple of issues. In the past your have said my comments are not welcome here. I doubt you can have empathy with illegal aliens unless you are one. Maybe sympathy but not empathy. And yeah, I do have this funny thing about adhering to the law. Issue is, if you do not like the law, get it changed, Seems the congress has been unable to change ‘dreamer’ laws for a long time, after many attempts. Could be that other Americans do think we ought to be following the laws of the nation.

              I have no issue with legal immigration. I have lots of problems with illegal anything. And I have a special disgust for people who leave their home country to leach off American by coming here illegally. Shows they have no respect for law. We do not need those type people here.

            3. Marine Bob – Empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of another to understand and share the feelings of others. You don’t need to be become someone else to empathize.

              In any event, you exhibit neither empathy or sympathy for these children. Under your warped idea of respect for law, they’re guilty of crimes of which they were too young to be cognizant.

              I can’t wait to see if your president changes the law and decides to admit these so-called “lawbreakers.” Your head will probably explode.

  6. If there was a legitimate reason to disrupt peoples lives, we could consider such action. But there is none. It is only to satisfy a demented man and the ignorant people who voted for him. And it violates every principle this country has stood for throughout its existence.

    1. Joel,
      You can join the rank and file of the rest of the criminals in the democratic party…………. and with such comments you are making…………..you sound like the DEMENTED MAN in this conversation……..And, by the way, the citizens who voted for President Donald Trump, are not ignorant or deplorables……………..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sounds like we know who this fits……YOU…………….. Get the facts….the principle this country stands on is not——-illegal immigration……………..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. From the very beginnings in colonial times, schools were formed. Education was held as high goal and need of settlers. Public schools were started. Betsy de Vos is trying to quietly segregate the student population by slowly defunding adequately the public schools. Rich or well off can send their children to private schools or charter schools. All that will be left in the poorly funded public school will be the poor! The Supreme Court voted that segregation was illegal. This is the way deVos is promoting to get around that decision.

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