Dear Member of Congress,
We, the undersigned national Jewish agencies and organizations, are deeply concerned about the 800,000 undocumented immigrant youth who will soon be at risk of detention and deportation unless Congress acts swiftly to provide permanent protection. We urge you to cosponsor the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017 (S. 1615/H.R. 3440) and support the passage of a clean bill without unrelated border security or enforcement provisions when it comes to a vote.
Jewish tradition instills in us a commitment to protecting the vulnerable and welcoming the stranger. We have a long history of active engagement in supporting immigrants and refugees and developing our nation’s immigration policy. The Jewish community has enjoyed unprecedented opportunity in this nation, but we remember the struggles new immigrants face. We are united in our belief that we, as a society, share a moral and civic duty to help create the same opportunities for the next generation to share in the American Dream.
While Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) provided temporary relief, we believe that these young people deserve the chance to live, study, and work in the United States without constant fear of deportation. With DACA slated to end in March 2018, they now face possible detention and deportation to countries they may not know or remember. The Dream Act of 2017 would enable undocumented immigrant youth brought to the United States as children—at an average age of six and a half—to obtain permanent residence status and, eventually, a pathway to citizenship for those who work, attend college, or serve in our armed forces. For many, the United States is the only home they know. DACA participants voluntarily shared their personal information with the federal government, paid requisite fees, and passed thorough background checks. Ending protections will inflict needless suffering, separate families, and cost our economy billions over the next decade.
We must not allow the fate of over 800,000 immigrant youth to be used as a bargaining chip. We call on you to cosponsor and support the immediate passage of a clean Dream Act.