Arturo Sarukhán, the former Mexican ambassador to the United States and a noted journalist, has issued a timely reminder to U.S. senators about the value of the so-called “Dreamers,” undocumented people who came to the United States as children who find themselves in legal limbo.
“Dreamers have been essential to the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic,” Sarukhán said this week. “Currently, nearly 30,000 DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] recipients work in health care across the U.S., caring for communities during the global pandemic.”
Sarukhán also noted that 15,000 Dreamers are employed as teachers, “pivoting from in-person to virtual learning during unprecedented times.” He also highlighted more than 140,000 who work in food-related occupations or industries – “keeping food on our tables.”
Introduced in 2001, the DREAM Act is a legislative proposal to grant temporary conditional residency, with the right to work, to unauthorized immigrants who entered the United States as minors – and, if they later satisfy further requirem;ents,they would attain permanent residency. However, the bill has never passed into law, despite at least 11 versions introduced in Congress.
The DREAM Act’s most recent version was approved by the House of Representatives in March and may soon go to a vote before the Senate, although many of its supporters expect it to hit yet another brick wall, even though the Democrats hold the slimmest of majorities in the upper house.