Rep. Sessions, support the DREAM Act.
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Dear Representative Sessions,
I am a constituent whose community has been deeply impacted by a DACAmented public school teacher, and I write to you alongside these 32nd District constituents. We represent multiple points along the political spectrum, yet are united in our expectation that Congress pass the Dream Act before DACA’s March 5, 2018 termination. We agree with you that the responsibility to address this issue lies solely with Congress.
Many of us know DACA recipients and see their incredible contributions to fellow Americans. We are customers of their businesses. We hear about their love of this country- the only country most of them remember- and their passion for making a difference. We see their drive to obtain an education and become productive members of society. Dreamers embody the American “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” ideal more than many of us, and they are asking for a legal path to citizenship so they continue to positively impact others. They make such a difference in our lives that our businesses, communities, and schools would suffer in their absence. As several of your Republican colleagues have stated, in the United States we do not punish children for their parents’ actions. We do not tell children and young adults that they must be deported to a country they do not know.
While there has been no polling on Texans’ views on specifically about the DREAM Act, the polling we do have suggests they are in support of it:
- 90% of Texans support “allowing illegal immigrants living in the U.S. the opportunity to become citizens after a long waiting period if they pay taxes and a penalty, pass a criminal background check, and learn English.” Texas Lyceum Poll, 2017
- 84% of U.S. citizens support “allowing immigrants living in the U.S. illegally the chance to become U.S. citizens if they meet certain requirements over a period of time.” Gallop, 2016
- 65% of Texans are opposed to “deporting millions of illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S.” Texas Lyceum Poll, 2017 (We believe this support is likely higher if narrowed to DACA recipients).
Both conservative and left-leaning think tanks recognize the following:
- Dreamers are projected to contribute between $280 billion and $460.3 billion in economic output over the next 10 years. CATO Institute, 2017 and Center for American Progress, 2017
- Dreamers pay as much as $2 billion in taxes each year despite being ineligible for federal benefits or Affordable Care Act coverage and subsidies. Brookings Institution, 2017
- Contributions to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security could decrease $24.6 billion over the next 10 years if DACA recipients lose work authorization. Center for American Progress, 2017
- DACA recipients pay a higher effective tax rate than the top 1% of state and local taxpayers. Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, 2017
- At $12,500 per person, it would cost $10 billion to deport Dreamers, yet the annual ICE budget is only $5 billion. The CATO Institute includes additional costs in its deportation estimate of $60 billion. Brookings Institution, 2017 and Cato Institute, 2017
Those of us who share your religious beliefs would also like to highlight Moses’ instructions in Deuteronomy 10:17-19: “For the LORD...executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.“So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.”
Again, we hear your frustrations with the way DACA was initially enacted. We believe a permanent legislative action from Congress will be the best solution, which is why we’re counting on you to co-sponsor and publicly support the DREAM Act. We urge you to use your considerable influence in the House to create a legal path to citizenship for DACA recipients.
Lora Owens, ________ St., Dallas, TX 752__
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