Calls on Congress to immediately pass BRIDGE Act to protect Dreamers
Boston (September 5, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump administration is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has protected from deportation nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants – 7,900 in Massachusetts – brought to the United States as children. The DACA program was established in 2012 by President Barack Obama and allows undocumented young people to legally remain, study and work in the United States if they had lived in the country at least ten years, have no criminal record and could pass a federal background check. Dreamers attend America’s schools, serve in the U.S. military, have started businesses, and contribute billions to the economy. Today, Senator Markey held a press conference at the offices of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, immigration advocates and young people who have benefitted from the DACA program.
“Repealing DACA is heartbreaking, it is unjust, and it is just plain evil,” said Senator Markey. “We should not punish these young people who know no other home than the United States of America. We should not go back on the word we gave when we told these young people to come out of the shadows. These Dreamers are engineers, police officers, teachers and students, many in our great Massachusetts universities. They serve bravely in our military. They are our best and brightest and are making the most of the opportunities that the United States has always provided immigrant communities.
“Congress should pass the bipartisan DREAM Act so that individuals who were brought here at a young age can earn citizenship by serving in the military or pursuing higher education. Ultimately, the House of Representatives needs to debate and vote on comprehensive immigration reform. I have long supported a pathway to citizenship for the eleven million immigrants who are living here in the shadows.
“This decision by the Trump administration to repeal DACA will not stand. We will not let it. With Congress returning this week, Republicans should prepare for a political juggernaut of voices and calls and protests demanding protections for Dreamers who deserve their opportunity to achieve their American dream.”