The Dreamers, the Border, and The Way Forward on Immigration

Nearly nine months into President Trump’s first year in office, Congress has a unique opportunity to achieve bipartisan success by passing a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers and enhancing our border security capabilities. A majority of Americans want this, as do a majority of members of Congress. President Trump himself stated his support for such an effort after having dinner with Democratic Party leaders, Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.).

Immigration is a complicated social and political issue. The far left and far right have very different points of view. But despite those differences, the outline of a new, principled, workable, limited, bipartisan package that would serve everyone’s interests has begun to emerge with the support of No Labels. And here’s the kicker: The deal would be popular on the left and the right.

Here’s how it would work. Congress would provide legal status for the “Dreamers,” the undocumented students and adults who were brought to the United States when they were children. At the same time, Washington would devote more resources to strengthening security at the border. This prospective Dreamers and border security package would serve policy goals on the left and right. It would be good for the country and help grow the economy. Moreover, the package would offer Democrats and Republicans the opportunity of working together on a significant issue which could become the catalyst for a lasting bipartisan relationship.

Consider the two elements of the package separately. Each day without action represents another day of uncertainty for the 800,000 Dreamers and their families. Each year, 65,000 dreamers graduate high school. Ten thousand graduate college. Among them are valedictorians, entrepreneurs, soldiers and marines, friends and neighbors. They contribute much to our economy. Maybe more important, for many, the U.S. is the only country they have ever known.

By Al Cardenas and Mack Mclarty for THE HILL
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