Op-Ed: Angelica Salas: Clock is Ticking for Congress to do the Right Thing and Pass the DREAM Act

LOS ANGELES, CA, Sept. 19, 2017 – The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), the largest immigrant rights organization in California, reiterated its support for a DREAM Act without further enforcement as a permanent solution to the more than 800,000 young immigrants who will be without protection after the DACA program ends March 5, 2018.

The following are comments for Angelica Salas, CHIRLA Executive Director. 
The Trump Administration dismantled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on September 5, 2017.  The clock is ticking for California’s GOP to have the courage to stand up and protect the more than 800,000 immigrant youth (223,000 California’s immigrant youth who will be forced back to the shadows after March 5, 2018 when the program is set to end.  Congress must pass the DREAM Act, a permanent, enforcement-free solution to help this vulnerable population.
CHIRLA and the California Dream Network have been fighting for the DREAM Act since 2001, and have been fierce advocates of a humane immigration reform bill to protect all 11 million undocumented immigrants.  For the past decade, instead of fair and just immigration reform, our communities have suffered from more and more draconian and enforcement-only approaches at the behest of Republicans and anti-immigrants who will never be satisfied.  In the past six months, this tactic has only become more amplified. Now Republicans want to hold young immigrants hostage in exchange for legislative protection. Enough is enough.
We demand the GOP stop lying to the American public and have the courage to pass protection for young immigrants without further enforcement.  This is what we expect from Democrats, Republicans, and President Trump and this is what we will fight to win for our communities and our nation.
The upcoming months are critical and, together, we will press Democrats to hold the line on enforcement and honor their commitment to pass the DREAM Act.  We will also hold every GOP  member in California accountable to act and commit to vote in favor of a clean DREAM Act.  We need 218 signatures to push through a Discharge Petition. We need 218 votes in the House and 60 votes in the Senate in favor of a clean DREAM Act to stand with America’s immigrant youth and families.

www.CHIRLA.org

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