10 years of limbo. DACA Recipients Need Permanent Relief Now

One of the few issues that most Americans can agree on when it comes to the hot topic of immigration is that longtime residents who were brought to the United States illegally as children should obtain permanent status. Congress should seize the opportunity during the lame session to pass such legislation before the end of the year.

With the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy at risk in federal court, California Senator Alex Padilla has joined other Democratic senators in rallying support to pass bipartisan legislation after Thanksgiving that would provide a solution. to these immigrants whose fate has been uncertain for years. . Legislation could be a stand-alone bill or language attached to an inescapable government spending bill. Either way, such legislation would need the support of at least 10 Republicans and all 50 Democrats to pass. Padilla, who heads the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Security, appeals for common sense, telling Republicans to offer permanent residency to immigrants who have lived in the country the last most of their lives and hold essential jobs. stimulates the economy.

It’s a last-ditch effort to solve a problem that has haunted lawmakers for decades. There is a short window of opportunity before Republicans take control of the House, closing the door for at least two years on any permanent solution. The House has passed a bill to give legal status to “dreamers” in 2021. It’s time for the Senate to approve the legislation, which would see him soon reach President Joe Biden’s office.

President Barack Obama created DACA by executive order in 2012 after Congress failed to pass a bill that would have offered young immigrants who met certain conditions the option of legal residency. DACA allowed more than 800,000 young immigrants to the United States to live, work and travel legally, but it was meant to be a temporary solution. He survived legal challenges, but his fate will now be decided by a U.S. district judge who previously ruled in a lawsuit brought by several Texas-led states, claiming DACA was illegal. The United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit sent the case back to the judge for a final decision.

Instead of waiting for this case to be resolved in federal court, Congress must find a way to offer permanent relief to the immigrants we know as the Dreamers, who are deeply American and have built their lives here as as students, entrepreneurs, essential workers and valued members of every community.

Is it a long shot? Maybe, but now would be a good time to remember that the original Dream Act was introduced in 2001 by Republican Utah Senator Orrin Hatch and combined elements of two bills sponsored by Democratic and Republican lawmakers. . Initial bipartisan support for the Dream Act eroded significantly in the weeks after the 9/11 attack worsened security concerns.

Since then, various attempts to revive different versions of the Dream Act have failed in Congress because Republicans want tougher border controls. The border has been fortified in many ways over the years, but the fate of the Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants remains unclear. DACA now symbolizes the long-standing failure of federal lawmakers to craft much-needed comprehensive immigration reform.

In poll after poll over the years, most Americans want DACA recipients to be allowed to legally stay in the United States. An analysis conducted by the conservative American Enterprise Institute in 2017 – At the height of Trump’s anti-immigrant hysteria feelings about immigrants and immigration have become more positive in recent years.

Of course, some people may prefer that DACA recipients leave the country, perhaps thinking these immigrants are a financial drain on taxpayers. But Dreamers pay about $6.2 billion in federal taxes and $3.3 billion in state and local taxes annually, according to the nonpartisan Center for American Progress.

Granting dreamers permanent status is of critical importance to California, home to approximately 170,000 of the current 600,000 DACA recipients nationwide.

It’s time for senators to put aside their differences and show leadership by addressing the plight of the Dreamers.

— Los Angeles Times/TNS

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