Issued July 20, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C.—SEIU International Executive Vice President Rocio Sáenz issued the following statement on introduction of the bipartisan DREAM Act of 2017, which would provide a path to permanent residence, and eventual citizenship, for immigrants who were brought to the United States years ago as children:
“Today's introduction of the DREAM Act, supported by politicians of both parties, is a ray of hope at a time when immigrant families are under constant attack. This bill would transform the lives of young people who have lived here since childhood, and because it would allow them to reach their full potential, it would also reward the rest of us. Immigrants, like others, want to provide the best life possible for their families and strengthen our economy through their hard work.
“Currently, many of the young people who would qualify for the DREAM Act are able to work legally and are protected from deportation by DACA, a program instituted by President Obama in 2012. DACA beneficiaries have increased their incomes, gone to school longer, bought more houses, and paid more taxes. Our nation is a better place because of DACA. However, the Trump administration could end it at any time. Passing the DREAM Act would allow these young people to get on with their lives once and for all.
“SEIU’s 2 million members, more than 400,000 of whom are immigrants, have the ability to speak out and be heard because they are joined together in a strong union. They are going to continue raising their voices on behalf of the young people whose communities would benefit from the DREAM Act. Furthermore, they are not going to stop until Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform that fixes the flaws in our legal immigration system, and provides a pathway to legal residence and eventual citizenship for all currently undocumented immigrants who can meet basic requirements.
“Together, we won’t stop until all people have the ability to fully contribute to our economy and communities, we have a say at work and in our political system through unions, and everyone has the chance to thrive.”