Welcoming America Urges Congress to Pass the Dream Act Now

Welcoming America calls upon our nation’s leaders to stand in fervent support of the Dream Act, and uphold our commitment to the values that are the bedrock of American democracy. Strong leaders in the 21st century recognize that to be American should never be defined by race, religion or country of origin, but by the content of our character and our contributions to our communities and country. Good neighbors treat one another with dignity, whether in communities or on a global stage. In an era of migration, the US should lead by example, drawing on these values to affirm an immigration policy that secures our future as a prosperous and desirable nation to live, do business and engage with the world.

Today, we call on Congress to protect DACA and pass the Dream Act now. DACA are a generation of nearly 800,000 young adults who came to the United States as children. They have grown up as Americans, pledging allegiance to our flag, and have worked side by side with all Americans to build a more vital nation. Through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, they have been able to work legally, share their talents, and contribute to the economy without fear of being deported to a country they’ve never known.

“Every day that Congress delays passage of the Dream Act, 122 young people lose their DACA status jeopardizing their livelihood and the stability of local communities,” said Welcoming America Executive Director David Lubell. “DACA are quarterbacks on the local high school football team, nurses in the local clinic, and teachers in the local classroom; communities want DACA to stay, and we hope Congress hears these calls.”

One in every eight Americans lives in a community in the Welcoming America network. Small towns and large cities alike are a part of a growing movement of communities becoming more prosperous by helping all residents be able to fully participate in economic, social, and civic opportunities, including immigrants and refugees. If Congress does not pass the Dream Act and shield the hundreds of thousands of young people who came forward under DACA from deportation, the effect on families and the U.S. economy will be devastating. Not protecting DACA will result in a loss of $460.3 billion from the national GDP over the next decade. But more importantly, families – the very fabric that ties together community  – will be torn apart, putting a generation of American children in harm’s way. It’s time for Congress to stand with local communities and protect DACA by passing the Dream Act once and for all.