It’s past time for Congress to pass the ‘Dream Act’

Editor:

Do we believe that faith can move mountains? Is there room in our society for dreamers to hold to a righteous belief in their inherent worth? 

Hundreds of young people who have grown up as Americans have been gently occupying the offices and halls of our congress for days now. Eschewing violence or shouting, they are passionately risking arrest and deportation as they plead with our representatives for their right to continue to be Americans.

We have called them “dreamers” who were brought to this country as children, and now face deportation to lands they have never known. 

Their formidable courage is a credit to the best teachings of our country.  

A recent CNN poll shows 83 percent of citizens want us to create a path to full citizenship for those who arrived here as children. 

Are our representatives listening to us?

Opportunity for legislation is shrinking. Congress just passed a spending bill without including provisions to protect the dreamers. More than 800,000 young people who call America home will be subject to deportation unless we take action. 

There is a growing contingent in Congress that recognizes the urgency, as more than 120 “dreamers” are now subject to deportation each day.

After the “Dream Act” was tossed as part of the spending bill, representatives repeatedly said the issue was a matter of “morality” and noted the religious beliefs behind Christmas celebrations. Refusing to take up the Dream Act before leaving for the holidays contradicts that belief, some of the speakers said. 

“How dare we speak Merry Christmas?” said Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. “These kids will not have a merry Christmas.”

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., asked what greater moral calling there is than “to stand up for our neighbors who stood up for us.

“At this time when religions are celebrating their high holidays,” Booker said, “who are we in this country that profess to be Evangelicals, that profess to be Protestants or Catholics, who are we to violate the most basic tenets of your most sacred texts: to love your neighbor.”

We are honored by the actions of these brave young people, who are teaching us how to create a better world for all.  It is up to us to take time from our holiday celebrations to let them know and to let our representatives know, that we welcome them as Americans. It is past time for Congress to pass the “Dream Act.” 

We can, we must move that mountain. Call Sen. Jon Tester at (202) 224-2644, Sen. Steve Daines at (202) 224-2651 and Rep. Greg Gianforte at (202) 225-3211. We will all benefit by doing so. 

Margarita McLarty
Paradise Valley
 

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