Bad news from the House floor yesterday: House Republicans voted to subject 800,000 DREAMers to deportation
"DREAMers' are people brought to this country as children who view themselves as Americans in every way--except for a lack of documentation. It is unfair to punish them for decisions made by their families. That's why President Obama's executive order last year protecting them from deportation was so important--it sent a strong message that they are valued as part of America's present and its future, and it opens up new opportunities for them to pursue the American Dream.
Yesterday, House Republicans passed an amendment that would prevent continued implementation of this Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. DACA has allowed hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth to come out of the shadows to live, work and study without fear of deportation, yet this amendment would be a huge setback to our efforts to integrate DREAMers into the fabric of the American community.
In fact, this amendment prohibits "prosecutorial discretion" altogether. Prosecutorial discretion allows Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to focus on those who genuinely pose a threat--such as people with lengthy criminal records--rather than wasting precious time prosecuting cases of hard-working, law-abiding individuals who want little more than a shot at improving the lives of their families.
This sort of amendment takes us in the wrong direction. Instead of trying to take cheap shots at young people who want desperately to become part of the vibrant future of the United States, we should be working to pass comprehensive immigration reform that finally fixes our broken immigration system.