Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi slammed the Trump administration for choosing to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as "morally and economically wrong."
The decision "was an assault against young people in communities across our country who are American in every way but one — their paperwork — and who embody our nation's values: patriotism, hard work and perseverance," the Senate and House Minority Leaders wrote in a CNN op-ed, vowing to "fight harder than ever" to replace the program with legislation.
"When President Barack Obama announced the DACA program in 2012, we made a promise to these young people and we asked them to trust us with their information and their livelihood. Since then, DACA has allowed nearly 800,000 immigrant youth to live, study and work in the country that for many is the only country they know and call home.
"Dreamers have greatly contributed to our country," they continued. "DACA recipients pay approximately $1.2 billion a year in federal, state and local taxes. According to a survey by Tom K. Wong of the University of California, San Diego, United We Dream, the Center for American Progress and the National Immigration Law Center, 91 percent of DACA recipients are currently working or in school, 65 percent have purchased their first car and 16 percent have purchased their first home."
"This is not, and should not be, a partisan or political issue. Congress has a duty, and an obligation, to protect these Dreamers. We are ready to work with Republicans to get the bipartisan DREAM Act signed into law."
Pelosi and Schumer end by recalling their meeting with President Donald Trump earlier in September, where the Republican "made it clear… that he wants to protect DACA recipients and provide relief to young undocumented immigrants, as well as secure our borders."
They conclude, "America cannot turn its back on Dreamers. We must pass the bipartisan DREAM Act to provide the earned path to citizenship these patriotic young men and women deserve.
"Then we must resume the vital work of comprehensive immigration reform."
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