The start of each new year brings hope and promise of a fresh start and resolutions of self-improvement.
This January is no different and offers the chance to do right by a group of young Americans who came to this country with their families as children and have since grown up and made lives for themselves here.
Unfortunately, for these Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, politics in Washington has put them at risk of separation from the only home they have ever truly known.
The DACA program was established in 2012 and grants approved applicants deportation protections and work authorization.
Thousands of young Americans enrolled in the DACA program, including more than 32,600 in Florida.
Unfortunately, in 2017, the Trump Administration rescinded the DACA program and put the lives of program recipients at risk.
Since then, DACA protections have been temporarily upheld by the courts, but the Supreme Court is poised to issue a ruling on the legality of the Trump administration’s decision early this year that could end the program and the protections on which DACA recipients rely.
The good news is, Congress has an opportunity to ensure that DACA recipients can remain in the country they call home by passing legislation that provides permanent protections to Dreamers, or those seeking residency status through the Dream Act, a bill introduced in the Senate in 2001.
The act would grant conditional residency and, upon meeting further qualifications, permanent residency.
As we begin this new year, I urge Senators Rubio and Scott to work in a bipartisan manner to make 2020 the year they finally keep their promises and pass permanent protections for Dreamers.