To the editor:
For many of us who have studied, witnessed or are in any way involved in the immigration system here in the United States, we definitely agree on the need to reform our immigration law system.
I believe many of us recall back to 2012 when Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was enacted. DACA provides deportation relief, work permits, and the ability to apply for a driver’s license for undocumented immigrants who, as minors, were brought to the United States.
Those who qualify are known as “Dreamers.”
In order to apply for DACA — new applications are no longer being processed — there were stringent requirements and a hefty fee to be paid every two years to keep the application current. Over the years, these Dreamers have earned college degrees, worked diligently, were front-line workers during the most serious years of the COVID-19 pandemic, and have contributed in many ways to the economic and cultural growth of our country.
Now, because of a decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, DACA is in jeopardy. The situation is such that only our Congress can make things right for the Dreamers who deserve legal permanent resident status.
Therefore, I urge Congress to be brave and stand up for those who need you to speak on their behalf. This is the most critical period for action by the Senate Judiciary’s Committee chair, Dick Durbin, who introduced the Dream Act more than 20 years ago.
He needs to act with courage aand determination and to act now.
The author is a member of the immigration task force for the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary