Bakersfield, CA – As the year starts to come to an end, there are still some pressing matters in Congress that need to be addressed. For the immigrant youth of our country, the most important and pressing issue is whether or not a clean DREAM Act bill will be passed by the House, Senate and signed by the President this year.
What stands in the way, despite the support of 34 Republicans in the House of Representatives for a solution to the end of DACA , is their very own leadership. Among them, is California’s House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. After delaying a vote on the DREAM Act for months, Rep. Kevin McCarthy is getting pressure to act and move a vote forward or face a government shut down. With 218 votes needed in the House to continue funding the federal government and 60 in the Senate, the Democrats have leverage on their side to pass the DREAM Act.
If the House does not act to move a clean DREAM Act forward, then the repercussions may possibly be felt in the 2018 June primary and Midterm elections. With over 223,000 DACA recipients in California alone, will the Majority Leader put party over his own state? Each Congressional District in California has a significant number of DACA recipients within its boundaries with hundreds of millions to be lost in GDP according to a recent study by USC Dornsife.
With so much at stake for immigrant youth this Holiday Season, time is literally winding down for a legislative solution. Each passing day, 122 immigrant youth lose their DACA work permit and protection from deportation. By March 6th, that number explodes to 1,400 per day. For this and many other basic values of human decency, we can’t wait.