Apel: Dreamers strengthen the fabric of American life

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018 4:16 PM

More than 700,000 undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers” came to the United States as children. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program allowed these young Americans to attend school, legally work, pay taxes, get drivers licenses and defer deportation two years at a time.

Nearly 16,000 DACA holders have already lost legal status and can no longer work or drive in the United States. Every single day another 122 Dreamers lose their DACA status. Soon the number will increase to over 1,000 a day.

These Dreamers have put their faith in the American government. Each day that passes, Dreamers are put in the precarious position of not being able to provide for their families and the fear of deportation. Many are already part of our skilled workforce and are making professional contributions to our society.

Let us hope that our elected representatives remember that most of us are here because of our immigrant ancestors. We would like for Congress to respect these individuals and not tie their fate to building an ineffective border wall at a huge tax payer expense.

As John F. Kennedy said, “Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.”

Marny L. Apel