Let's welcome US Dreamers to Canada

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On September 5, US President Donald Trump cancelled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme, the Obama-era order that had been shielding some 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation,  allowing them to work and to access government services and protections. These young people, popularly known as Dreamers, now face deportation to the countries of their birth beginning in March 2018, unless the U.S. Congress passes legislation to reinstate some version of the old programme — an unlikely outcome given the fervent anti-immigration stance of many Republican lawmakers. 

The Dreamers are an educated, hard-working cohort of young people, who are American in every sense but one: they were brought to the US as children and lack the citizenship status to stay now that the DACA programme has been rescinded. They are also orderly and law-abiding people in the sense that they volunteered to register for DACA, effectively emerging from the undocumented shadows in the hopes of creating a path to permanent US citizenship. 

Their deportation from the US — in many cases to countries they have never known — is a cruel affront to what Canadians would consider basic notions of fairness and compassion. Moreover, it is a waste of the fine English-language education these young immigrants received as a result of growing up in the States, and of the many contributions they have already made to public and community life in their adopted country. 

We propose that the Canadian government move swiftly to invite qualified Dreamers to immigrate to Canada, welcoming them to full participation in a nation that values immigrants and the personal, cultural, educational, and professional riches they bring with them. 

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