Repeats call for President-elect Trump to protect DREAMers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is once again calling on President-elect Donald Trump to pledge to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides temporary reprieve from deportation to young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin argued that by saving DACA, Trump could begin to bind the divisions that characterized this year’s presidential election.

Senator Durbin also highlighted the social and economic contributions of DREAMers and shared the story of Father Rey Piñeda, who thanks to DACA was able to fulfill his goal of becoming a Catholic priest.

“I believe now that America [will] stand behind these young people. We will not allow them to be deported after what they have been through. We will not say to them by complying with the requirements of our government, you have penalized yourself in the future. We want to give them a chance,” said Durbin. “Now is the time for America, this nation of immigrants, to heal the wounds that divided us during this election. Let’s start with the DREAMers. Let’s start with DACA. Let’s start with the young people that will make America better and stronger in years to come. They are the best in this country. Let’s make them the best of America’s future. I hope and pray that the President-elect's words and actions in the coming weeks and months will in fact bring us together.”

In April 2010, Senator Durbin was the first member of Congress to call for the establishment of DACA. Durbin has shared the stories of more than 75 DREAMers on the Senate floor since he introduced the original DREAM Act fifteen years ago. He was a member of the “Gang of 8” Republicans and Democrats that authored comprehensive immigration legislation that passed the Senate in 2013.

 

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