The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program freed hundreds of thousands of young people from the fear of being deported to countries which many of them don’t remember and where they would be in danger. It also gave them the ability to work legally and get an education. I have known dozens of these young people. They all shared one characteristic – hope. They believed they were in a country that cared about them and that was willing to take steps to give them the opportunity to become contributing members. And they did. They went to school, got jobs and started careers. They engaged in their communities. They were realizing the term that has been given to them – Dreamers. Over the last four years KIAC’s legal program has helped many young people realize this dream, and we’ve help them renew their status so they could continue this positive journey.
Now the Administration has decided to exclude Dreamers in our country and has ended the DACA program. This action will have a devastating effect on the Dreamers, their families, friends, schools, and employers. While the authority exists to undo a previous president’s executive order, he could also let it continue. Instead he adds to the fear in the immigrant community by targeting hundreds of thousands of young people for deportation.
We now ask the Congress to undo this heartless act and pass legislation that will restore protection to the Dreamers and provide a way for them to become full citizens of the United States instead of living in a political limbo. There are several bills in congress addressing this.
We at the Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center stand with our immigrant sisters and brothers and in this trying time we will provide support to the dozens of Dreamers in our community to help them through this struggle.
We encourage you to contact your congressional representatives: Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell and Derek Kilmer. Encourage them to support legislation that will undo this heartless political act.
Here are their contact links:
Senator Maria Cantwell: https://www.cantwell.senate.gov/contact/email/form
Senator Patty Murray: https://www.murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactme
Congressman Derek Kilmer: https://kilmer.house.gov/contact/email-me
KIAC Legal Services Director