Former Federal Officials Call for Clean Dream Act

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Rebecca Morgan, 202.495.2553, rebeccam@nafsa.org
Kolbie Blume, 202.495.2528, kolbieb@nafsa.org

Washington, December 5, 2017—More than 200 former federal officials who served under both Republican and Democratic administrations signed a letter to Congressional leadership calling for a “clean” Dream Act.

The letter expresses serious concern that not only is passage of the Dream Act necessary to preserve the future of a generation of undocumented young people but also that it is essential for good government.

The cosigners range from former political appointees to former career officials who agreed the Dream Act would be an important first step in creating a more efficient and manageable immigration system.

Former Secretary of Education John B. King and former Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz are among the high ranking senior officials who signed the letter. Signatories include former career civil servants and political appointees who worked in agencies throughout the government.

The letter, addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, states the signatories support the Dream Act not only because it provides relief to a group of young people who call America home but also because it offers clear guidance and eligibility requirements that will allow the federal workforce to do its job. “The more the decision to ‘fix DACA’ is tied to enforcement measures, efforts to limit future migration or otherwise complicate the solution, the more likely it is to be caught up in uncertainty and ultimately to fail.”

“The Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is irresponsible and immoral,” explained Secretary King. “America is a nation of immigrants, and our diversity is what makes us stronger. Over the last five years, hundreds of thousands of young people came forward to participate in DACA so they could pursue a bright future. For most DACA recipients, America is the only country they have ever known. It’s beyond time for Congress to do what’s right by passing the bipartisan Dream Act that would put these young people on a path to citizenship and help them build thriving lives for themselves and their families.”

President Trump is scheduled to have a meeting with Democratic leadership on Thursday to discuss issues of concern to the American people, with the Dream Act scheduled to be atop this list of key issues. In the past, Trump has stated that he has “a great love” for these young immigrants and undeniably recognizes that they were brought to this country due to no fault of their own, so many immigrant rights advocates are certain there is common ground from which negotiations on the Dream Act may begin.

When asked about the bill and the impact Dreamers have in our communities, Director Muñoz explained, “There is no question that Dreamers contribute mightily to our national well-being. They do this in a variety of ways, including serving in the federal workforce. For hundreds of thousands of young, hard-working people who are Americans in every way but on paper, to lose their ability to work would be an unnecessary catastrophe for all of us. Congress must act swiftly to prevent this great harm.”

Other cosigners, such as NAFSA Executive Director and CEO Esther Brimmer, were also concerned about the importance of passing a “clean” Dream Act for a stronger America. Brimmer explained, “Passing a clean Dream Act is the essential first step in fixing our broken immigration system. As the letter explains, it’s good for security, enforcement, our students and our communities. It really struck a chord among many people who want to see good laws passed that will facilitate and improve the administration of immigration laws and policies.”

The full text and list of signatories may be viewed on the NAFSA website.