Sign the Letter Urging Senate to Pass DREAM Legislation in 2021
The Honorable U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer
Hart Senate Office Building 322
Washington DC 20510
The Honorable U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
July 19, 2021
Dear Leader Chuck Schumer and Leader Mitch McConnell,
As business, education, civic and faith leaders around the country we join together to call on the U.S. Senate to pass the bipartisan Dream Act of 2021, reintroduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), which would provide Dreamers, their families, and the employers who depend on them much-needed certainty following years of legal limbo.
Nearly 80 percent of all voters and more than half of Republican voters believe in protecting these young immigrants, according to a Pew Research Center Poll. Yet the decision issued by Texas federal district court Judge Andrew Hanen threatens the very existence of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which protects Dreamers from deportation. The decision blocks any new initial applications for DACA. While Judge Hanen allowed current DACA recipients to continue filing their renewals, he warned that an order stopping the processing of renewals could be issued in the near future.
This decision throws into further limbo the lives of hundreds of thousands of young Dreamers, and gravely impacts their employers, families, and communities. It makes starkly clear why Congress must seize the opportunity to finally pass the bipartisan Dream Act of 2021, and end this constant rollercoaster of lawsuits and uncertainty. If Congress cannot move forward swiftly in a bipartisan manner, then we call on the Senate and Congress to pursue a roadmap to citizenship through all available mechanisms — including budget reconciliation. Inaction is unacceptable in 2021.
This relief is particularly critical for the 98,000 Dreamers who graduate from high school every year and the 427,000 undocumented students enrolled in institutions of higher education. These students are working diligently to advance themselves, including pursuing careers in health, STEM, and teaching, notwithstanding the uncertainty they live with regarding whether they will be able to complete their education, invest in beginning careers, businesses, and families, and ultimately become citizens.
Dreamers are pillars of our nation’s economy and communities – 93 percent of them are employed, they pay close to $10 billion in taxes, and they carry nearly $20 billion in spending power. Nearly 40,000 Dreamers have started businesses and created new jobs for American workers, growing our entrepreneurial spirit. Dreamers are on the frontlines of the pandemic response. Almost 200,000 are essential workers – first responders, restaurant and grocery store workers, childcare providers and almost 30,000 healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses.
We urge the Senate to come together and immediately provide a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients and DACA-eligible individuals through the passage of the bipartisan DREAM Act, and if necessary, through budget reconciliation. We understand that no bill is perfect, but we believe this existing bipartisan bill is the best framework to protect Dreamers rather than starting over with new legislation.