Demand Congress pass the Dream Act

I grew up on the Central Coast, eating strawberries and lettuce picked by migrant farm workers. I played AYSO soccer and raised lambs in 4-H with kids who seemed just like me, except for one difference – as a U.S. citizen, I could pursue my dreams unrestricted while they could not.

For 800,000 young people, that changed in 2012 with DACA. Over the past five years, DREAMers, undocumented youth brought to this country as children, came out of the shadows and put their faith in the U.S. government and applied for DACA.

A grant of DACA provides no amnesty or legal status. Rather, it is simply a deferral of deportation in the lawful exercise of prosecutorial discretion. With a grant of DACA comes a renewable two-year work permit and a chance to pursue one’s dreams without an immediate fear of deportation.

With the Trump Administration’s announcement to end DACA, the Administration unnecessarily destabilized the lives of the roughly 9,000 DACA eligible recipients in Santa Barbara County alone. DACA recipients are teachers in our schools, colleagues in our offices, trusted caretakers in our homes, and harvest workers in our vineyards. Now, after five years of the program in action, we have thousands of examples of how DACA has made the Central Coast, and our country, stronger.

With the lives of our friends, family, and neighbors at stake, it is critical that we raise our voices and demand Congress take immediate action and pass the Dream Act – a path to lawful immigration status for DREAMers. Visit weareheretostay.org for more information on the Dream Act and how to get involved.

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Nickole Miller, Esq.

AGHS Class of 2004

Clinical Teaching Fellow,

University of Baltimore School of Law

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