Dreamers Rally for Protection Amid Senate Hearing on Immigrant Youth

By LG Staff

By LG Staff

May 14, 2024

As immigration policies dominate national discourse and the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program hangs in the balance, the Senate Judiciary Committee convenes a hearing Wednesday on safeguarding immigrant youth, according to committee reports.

In response, 1,636 scholars and alumni of TheDream.US, an organization supporting DACA recipients and other undocumented immigrant youths, penned a letter urging Congress to pave a pathway to U.S. citizenship for them.

“This action will offer stability to our families and communities and bolster our nation’s economy by securing the future of a dynamic workforce,” reads the letter, initially shared with NBC News.

Ahead of the hearing, various organizations, including evangelical and educational groups, have expressed support through similar letters.

Among the witnesses at the hearing is Gaby Pacheco, an education advocate and president of TheDream.US. She champions legislation offering legalization for young immigrant adults raised in the U.S., a measure with broad public backing.

“True progress hinges on bipartisan collaboration,” Pacheco emphasized in a pre-hearing interview with NBC News.

However, achieving such bipartisanship poses a formidable challenge, noted Pacheco, herself a former DACA recipient and lifelong advocate for Dreamers.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), chair of the Judiciary Committee, underscored Dreamers’ contributions in his opening remarks. In contrast, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the ranking member, shifted focus to border security, asserting that addressing DACA isn’t his immediate priority.

Graham’s stance marks a departure from the bipartisan efforts seen just a year ago when both senators introduced the Dream Act of 2023, aimed at providing lawful permanent residence to Dreamers.

With immigration becoming a polarizing issue ahead of the upcoming presidential election, Republicans emphasize select instances of undocumented individuals committing serious crimes, while Democrats denounce such narratives as political tactics.

Gaby Pacheco expressed frustration with the portrayal of immigrants, asserting that such narratives unfairly demonize a small fraction of the immigrant population.

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