WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Lindsey Graham today joined more than 100 Dreamers to call on their colleagues to join them in supporting the Dream Act, which would provide a permanent legislative solution for DACA recipients, providing protection from deportation and work authorization for these hardworking young people.
More than 100 Dreamers from 25 states across the country have been in Washington, DC, this week to call on their members of Congress to pass the Dream Act, which would allow them to continue working, studying, and paying taxes in the only country they know as home. The fly-in has allowed dozens of members of Congress and their staffs to hear the diverse and inspiring stories of Dreamers first-hand.
“The clock is ticking for the hundreds of thousands of talented young people who have grown up in America and know no other country. Listen to their stories—but for their immigration status, any one of these young people could be my children or yours. I’ll do everything in my power to protect these Dreamers and give them the chance to become American citizens so they can contribute to a brighter future for all Americans. I call on my colleagues to help,” said Senator Dick Durbin.
“These young people have lived in America since they were children and built their lives here,” said Senator Lindsey Graham. “There is support across the country for allowing Dreamers – who have records of achievement – to stay, work, and reach their full potential. Our legislation would allow these young people – who grew up in the United States – to contribute more fully to the country they love. They have a powerful story to tell and this may be an area where both parties can come together.”
“I was 9 years old when I came to the United States with my family, fleeing political instability and to pursue the American Dream. As an automotive engineer in R&D, I love that everyday I am at the forefront of American innovation creating new technology for the cars we build,” said Nathali Bertran, a Dreamer living and working in Columbus, Ohio. “Losing DACA is not just about me and my career: so many people have invested in me to make my dreams come true, and it’s important to me that I can stay in my country and give back, but the only way for that to happen is for Congress to pass the Dream Act without delay.”
“DACA has allowed me to pursue my dreams of working at a hospital, which has allowed me to pay for the pre-med classes I am currently taking at Oklahoma State University,” said Dreamer Jesus Perez of Tulsa, Oklahoma. “I love helping my patients feel comfortable and get the care they need in very scary moments in their lives. When my DACA protections end, I would lose my job and won’t be able to pay for class, putting my dreams and the care of patients at my hospital on hold. If the Dream Act passes, I’ll be able to continue my studies, apply for medical school, and become the cardiothoracic surgeon I know I am meant to be.”
“We’re very grateful to Senators Durbin and Graham for their leadership on the Dream Act, and for their commitment to the fight ahead on this clear bipartisan solution,” said Maria Praeli, a Dreamer and FWD.us policy associate. “We need Senate and House leadership to bring this to a vote immediately, and we know we can do this if we keep pushing together.”
The 100+ Dreamers participating include those from a diverse range of backgrounds, such as individuals working as teachers and engineers, working in medical and scientific fields, and studying in undergraduate or advanced degree programs. A number of Dreamers come from mixed-status families, and some are mothers and fathers to U.S. citizen children. All have been here since a young age and are active in their communities, such as in local houses of worship, as mentors, and on sports teams.
After the Trump Administration rescinded DACA on September 5, nearly 700,000 DACA recipients could face deportation if Congress does not pass a permanent legislative solution.