Time is running out. We've all been clear — from community leaders to pioneers in the non-profit sector, from business and faith leaders to Democrats in Congress. Now, in this open letter, we're standing together to send a message: Congress must pass the Dream Act. And it must act now.
Thanks to President Trump's decision to end DACA, more than 11,000 Dreamers are already at risk of deportation. By March 5, thousands more of the 800,000 affected will see their lives fall apart — they'll lose their jobs, they'll be forced to drop out of school, they could be separated from their families, and they may be deported from the only country they've ever known.
Dreamers are vital members of our communities, employees in our businesses, worshipers in our pews, and contributors to our great nation's economy. They've lived in our country. They've contributed to our communities. They belong here. They are Americans.
That's why I showed solidarity with Dreamers last week by blacking out my website and sharing their stories on the Senate floor and social media.
My goal is to show these young men and women for who they are: Americans, and put them on a pathway to citizenship. That's why we must pass the Dream Act.
Blue jeans, hamburgers, ketchup, YouTube, Google, Apple. America's best idea — our national parks. These are iconic American inventions, and they were all created, in whole or in part, by immigrants.
According to the Center for American Progress, 91 percent of DACA recipients are employed in the United States and contributing to our economy. If these young women and men were to lose their jobs, American businesses would pay at least $3.4 billion in turnover costs. In Nevada alone, our economy would lose hundreds of millions of dollars. Our businesses and our country's economy cannot afford not to have Dreamers in it.
Congress must act before the end of the year. Dreamers can no longer wait for another temporary solution. Our country can no longer wait.
These are young men and women with the brightest of futures ahead. But in order for that bright future to be realized, we must finally tear down the barriers to them.
Editor's Note: This op-ed does not reflect the views of BDG Media and is part of a larger, feminist discourse on today's political climate.