Call to Action: The DREAMers Need Our Help Now!

CALL TO ACTION: Tell Congressman Yoho to support the American Hope Act of 2017 (HR 3591) and protect DREAMers! Please contact him by calling his DC office at (202)225-5744; his Gainesville office at (352)505-0838; or email him through his website.

Here is the backstory: Because of Congressional unwillingness to pass an immigration plan, specifically one that contains a resolution for dealing with children (commonly referred to as DREAMers) who were brought into the United States by undocumented immigrant parents, then-President Obama issued two directives. One directive in 2012 that provided temporary protection from detainment or deportation to those children (the DACA directive) and another in 2014 that applied to undocumented parents of children born in the US (the DAPA directive).

States sued to keep the DAPA directive from being enacted. They won. DACA is still in place, but it is on thin ice. And the ice recently got a lot thinner.

In 2015, then-candidate Trump promised to revoke DACA on day one of his presidency, something he has the power to do.  Thankfully, he hasn’t done so. But at the end of June, a bunch of states forced the issue by sending a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions giving the administration until September 5th to reverse DACA or they will sue and force the administration to revoke DACA.

The presumption is that if the courts were willing to rescind DAPA on the grounds of presidential overreach by then-President Obama, then these states will also be successful in their quest to get DACA rescinded. This likelihood is based on two main factors: 1) the DACA case is very similar the DAPA one; and 2) Neil Gorsuch has been installed as a Supreme Court Justice, tilting the court in a decidedly conservative direction.

The way around all of this legal maneuvering is simple: Congress can pass a law that protects the DREAMers, like the Dream Act of 2017 introduced July 20th in the Senate and the American Hope Act of 2017 introduced July 28th in the House.

Let’s talk about DREAMers for a moment: There are about 1.3 to 1.9 million people who are eligible for DACA and for whom the only home they’ve ever known is the United States of America. They are completely innocent of any wrongdoing. They were passengers on a ride, so to speak, but they were not the drivers. To kick them out of the only home they have ever known and drop them into an unknown country is simply cruel. Further, they are great contributors to the success of our modern society.

Those members of Congress who want to destroy these children’s lives claim such an odious act is necessary because we as a country can’t afford to take care of these kids. This is a lie. First, DREAMers cannot qualify for federal assistance. Second, immigrants help the economy, and they do so without taking jobs away from Americans. Third, any country that wants to cut taxes on the wealthy, as the GOP tried to do with its failed health-care overhaul and surely plans to do with its upcoming tax-reform effort, can afford to show compassion to some of the most vulnerable among us.

Our Congressman, Ted Yoho, has complained about the DACA and DAPA directives on process grounds. That is, he has said that DACA and DAPA are bad not because of who is being protected, but because the two directives exceed the powers granted to the President by the Constitution. Additionally, House Republicans never passed their own DREAMers Act because they claimed that Obama could not be trusted to enforce immigration laws. That was just an excuse they used to get out of doing anything. But that’s not the point. The point is that there is a Republican in the White House now who has made immigration a top campaign issue. Surely they can pass a law protecting these people now, can’t they?

Ted Yoho himself said as much when DAPA was overturned: “I look forward to actually doing what the president [Obama] has failed to do, getting down to the business of fixing our broken immigration system.” If Mr. Yoho is intent on fixing immigration, he should concern himself with all problems, not just the ones that can be manipulated to target vulnerable populations.

Now is the perfect opportunity for Congressman Yoho to put his money where his mouth is and do something. And we need him to act now! Please contact him by calling his DC office at (202)225-5744; his Gainesville office at (352) 505-0838; or emailing him through his website.



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