Young undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers” once had the political leverage to force a vote on a bill that would help them gain citizenship. But in the now-defunct Senate bipartisan immigration proposalDreamers were completely ignored, a victim swipe right about immigration.
Although this is true request after request shows support for these immigrants who have lived most of their lives in the United States for several years, overstayed their visas, or entered the United States illegally with their parents and families as young children.
Some members of parliament said that the arrivals of recent yearswe don’t know who’s coming,” they once again chose to leave hundreds of thousands of Dreamers and other people in the shadows. He lived and worked in the United States spend most of their lives without legal status.
“Dreamers” is a term based on legislation introduced in 2001 to provide a path to citizenship for this category of young immigrants. That includes more than 500,000 people protected from deportation through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, a program that allows eligible young people to work and study in the United States. in its ability to bring some young adults into the middle classthus benefiting their communities.
Not all Dreamers are eligible or eligible to sign up for DACA, the Obama-era program that’s at risk: Then-President Donald Trump tried to end it, and a Republican blocked new applications. – appealed to the court. About 1.1 million eligible Dreamers No DACA.
In the early 2000s, Tomás Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, pushed back against immigration advocates when he called on them to split a comprehensive immigration bill to address Dreamers as a separate issue. This did not happen and the all-out effort failed.
“Relief for DACA recipients and other Dreamers should have been passed as a stand-alone bill long ago and should have been enacted today, largely because of the urgency of the uncertain situation that exists today,” Saenz said. NBC News.
Saenz noted that in addition to strong support for Dreamers, many immigrants are playing important roles in the workforce, including important jobs such as health care at the height of the Covid pandemic.
“So there’s no reason, no political reason, no political reason, that relief for Dreamers shouldn’t be enacted down the road,” he said.
Excluding Dreamers is a stark departure from the previous decade, when Congress ignored them. They created a powerful youth-led lobby, held nonviolent sit-ins in Congressional offices, led rallies and marches, and worked on campaigns.
But Congress rejected them for so long and missed so many opportunities to reconcile their status in the United States that many of the early Dreamers who pressed for legalization reached adulthood; there are some who have the right to change their status to become a citizenprofessionals and militaryothers still struggle as long-term residents without legal status.
Even so, there is still support for Dreamers, as the conservative National Association of Evangelicals demonstrated: While praising the bipartisan Senate proposal, the group noted that a permanent solution for Dreamers is one in the bill. “missing pieces.”
The upcoming presidential election and record numbers of immigrants arriving at and between ports of entry complicate that prospect.
In 2017, the Dreamers introduced the bill, RN.C. Sen. Thom Tillis told Reuters that helping Dreamers or other people without legal status in the United States is “toxic” and has been “debated for years” because of the current situation. southern border.
“There are no real allies left”
Leonardo Rodriguez, 22, in his final semester at the University of California, Berkeley, is the same age as his mother when he crossed the southern border with her from Mexico to join his father, who was already in the United States. Rodriguez was 5 years old. He was protected from deportation and received work authorization through DACA, which he applied for and accepted as soon as he became eligible.
He and other undocumented youth often discuss how life was easier when they first arrived in the United States, even though they were in a completely different place culturally and had to learn a new language.
“When you were young, we weren’t required to prove our citizenship and we’d get student of the month or honor roll or go on our trips,” Rodriguez said.
It was when he started doing better in elementary school that his parents sat him down and had a heart-to-heart with him about his status in the United States, telling him that despite his academic success, he would one day hit a wall. They promised to help him overcome those obstacles, “but at the end of the day, they won’t be able to completely eliminate it,” he said.
Years of hope that Congress would act, and then the disappointment got so bad in high school, Rodriguez asked, “Why am I even trying?” But community college saved him, and if he couldn’t change the government, he decided to stay active in his community by helping with groups helping people during the pandemic.
Rodriguez also became part of a community college board and trustee and was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to serve on the California Student Aid Commission. His GPA at Berkeley is 3.1.
“It’s kind of disappointing to me to see that there are no real allies left for the undocumented,” Rodriguez said, reflecting on recent developments surrounding the immigration bill in Congress. “We had to resort to putting that task back on undocumented people, like, how can you help yourself? Do you know how you can live alone? How can you advocate?”
Even in its hometown, the University of California system chose to delay a vote on a proposal to allow students without legal immigration status to hold jobs on their campuses. UC President Michael Drake said the student work plan could put immigrant students at risk of criminal prosecution and deportation for working without legal status. The Associated Press reported on this.
A bipartisan immigration bill that Republicans forced into a funding bill for aid to Ukraine and Israel died on a procedural vote Wednesday, killing the measure introduced by President Joe Biden. He urged Congress to adopt it. But Trump told his party members this sink the billleaving him with few prospects.
Bruna Sollod, senior communications and policy director for United We Dream, a network of groups that advocates for Dreamers, said the group does not want to be part of the bill, which she and other advocates say is absolutely bad policy and will remain so. Even if protections are added for dreamers.
“The people who live here and work for their families and are part of the communities are trying to do the best they can with this and the government is failing these people and the communities we are a part of. Sollod said.