We stand with DREAMers

This Administration’s attack on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy of the Obama administration, rejects everything it means to be an American. The United States is a nation of immigrants and as such, we embrace and welcome new arrivals as part of the American story.

DACA addresses a compelling need arising from Congressional gridlock, by allowing children brought to America by their parents without proper documents to work, get a driver’s license, and attend school. By abrogating the promise our country made to these children and terminating DACA, this White House is trying to rewrite history, to exclude those who migrate here as part of the story of escaping poverty or war or oppression to pursue the American dream.  An attack on immigrants is an attack on all Americans, and we all need to express this sentiment.

Virginia has more than 12,000 young adults eligible for DACA status who contribute millions of dollars to the local economy. They pay taxes, they spend their earnings in local business, and they fuel the prosperity we all enjoy. To eliminate DACA is to threaten these registered young adults with deportation, which would break up thousands of families, disrupt local economies, and instill fear and mistrust in the communities which suffer their loss. It is now up to states and local governments to protect our friends and neighbors.

In response to this attack on the American principle of a welcoming and diverse homeland, we must stop referring to human beings as “illegal aliens,” support enactment of the “DREAM Act,” and write or call the White House and the office of the Attorney General and object to the DACA termination.

While Attorney General Sessions would add a chapter to his history of bias, and treat our new arrivals as the “other,” we reject such ideology and instead press for legislation, starting with the DREAM Act.  Further, we should oppose legislation funding the wall on our border with Mexico and any attempt to join that proposal with the DREAM Act. We should also insist on additional action, including pathways to citizenship, in comprehensive immigration reform.

Sue Langley
Chair, Fairfax County Democratic Committee