Today is the last day lawmakers can pass legislation to protect Dreamers and ensure that USCIS has the time it needs to implement what Congress passes by the March 5deadline put forward by the Trump Administration. Without congressional action, hundreds of thousands of Dreamers face deportation to countries they have no memory of.
Earlier this month, a bipartisan group of former Secretaries of the Department of Homeland Security sent a letter to congressional leaders urging lawmakers to pass legislation to protect Dreamers by January 19. In the letter, Secretaries Michael Chertoff, Janet Napolitano, and Jeh Johnson — appointed during the Bush and Obama Administrations — wrote that:
“There is a misconception that because President Trump rescinded the program in a fashion where the number of individuals losing DACA escalates dramatically starting March 5th, there is no urgency about addressing Dreamer’s status or that this executive authorization can be further extended. In fact, DACA has been rescinded and legislation is the only permanent way to prevent these Dreamers from losing work authorization and becoming subject to immediate deportation.”
They write that January 19 “should be seen as an actual best-case deadline based on our collective experience with these administrative and security requirements.” Congress must act to protect Dreamers now.