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Call for a Pathway to Citizenship for DREAMers

The administration’s decision to bring an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September 2017 put nearly 800,000 immigrant youth at risk of deportation. As of March 5, 2018, the date the administration declared as the end date of the program, nearly 1,000 DACA recipients are estimated to be losing status every day. This is on top of the nearly 22,000 young people who lost their legal protections between the announcement in September and March 5. Congress must act immediately to protect DREAMers from deportation and provide a permanent, legislative fix that provides DREAMers with a pathway to citizenship.

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  • Background:

    DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, has allowed nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrant youth who were brought to the United States as children to obtain work permits, attend school, and contribute openly to our economy without fear of deportation. In many cases, these youth, known as DREAMers, grew up in the United States and want to give back to society and raise their own families in the only nation they know as home. By ending DACA and its protections, the administration has made DREAMers vulnerable to deportation or detention.

    Congress must immediately act now to protect DREAMers and ensure a permanent, legislative fix. The Dream Act of 2017 (S.1615/H.R.3440) is a bipartisan piece of legislation that would grant current DACA recipients permanent residence status on a conditional basis. It would permit conditional permanent residents to then obtain lawful permanent residence status (known as getting a “green card”), and then provide a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers who attend college, work in the U.S., or serve in the military. The bill would also improve college affordability for undocumented youth by changing rules that limit their access to in-state tuition and college loans.

    We continue to join with the immigrant justice community in calling on Congress to pass a clean Dream Act immediately or other bipartisan legislation that provides a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers while upholding family unity and respecting border communities. As allies to immigrant justice leaders and congressional champions closest to the negotiations, we strengthen their position by advocating for the passage of a clean Dream Act now, which is the best available solution to permanently protect DREAMers.

    In addition to sending an email through our form above, you can also call your Senators and Representative to urge them to protect vulnerable immigrant youth by texting RAC4DREAM to 877877.

    Jewish Values:

    Jewish tradition is clear on the treatment of immigrants. Leviticus commands, “When strangers sojourn with you in your land, you shall not do them wrong. The strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (19:33-34). This teaching permeates Jewish tradition and is echoed 35 times in the Torah – the most repeated of any commandment. Our own people’s history as “strangers” reminds us of the many struggles faced by immigrants today, and we affirm our commitment to create the same opportunities for today’s immigrants that were so valuable to our own community not so many years ago. The DREAMers who have grown up in the United States are not strangers; they are members of our communities nationwide. Yet this biblical teaching reminds us of the importance of a just immigration system.