Dreamers are Americans. Many have spent most of their lives in the United States. They live, study, work, and worship in our communities. They have served on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2012, the Obama-Biden Administration created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. Since that date, DACA has allowed more than 800,000 immigrant youth who came to the United States as children to temporarily remain in our country, work lawfully, pursue their education and long for the day they could become citizens.
Twenty years ago, Congress introduced the first version of the bipartisan Dream Act, led by Senator Durbin (D-IL) and former Republican Senator Hatch. And over the years, bipartisan coalitions of lawmakers championed this bill. The American public overwhelmingly supports this legislation. But time and time again, the Senate has failed to act.
Only Congress can provide a permanent legislative fix to provide lasting stability for these young people and their families. My immigration bill, the U.S. Citizenship Act, creates a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals in our country, including Dreamers. In March, the House took a critical first step and passed the American Dream and Promise Act. Congress must find a way to pass these legislative solutions and I will continue to work towards passage of legislation protecting Dreamers and creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. These young people represent the best of America and we can’t let them down.