PROVIDING PROVISIONAL STATUS ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS TO DREAM ACT-ELIGIBLE YOUNG PEOPLE
WHEREAS, 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school each year, but live in constant fear of deportation;
WHEREAS, many undocumented youth also identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender who struggle with their multiple identities;
WHEREAS, undocumented youth describe their experiences having to “come out” twice as an important reason to work at the intersections of many communities;
WHEREAS, despite their talent and potential to contribute to the nation and to its economy, they face bleak prospects in both employment and education because without legal status, they cannot drive or work legally and are forced to take dead-end jobs and cannot qualify for most college scholarships and loans since only a few states offer in-state tuition for these students;
WHEREAS, the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act would provide a path to citizenship to high school graduates by allowing them to become permanent residents if they came to the United States as children (under the age of 16), are long-term United States residents (five years or more), have good moral character and attend an institution of higher learning or enlist in the military for at least two years;
WHEREAS, the DREAM Act was first introduced in Congress more than 10 years ago, but attempts to pass it have failed repeatedly;
WHEREAS, the Supreme Court, in Heckler v. Chaney, held that “an agency’s decision not to prosecute or enforce, whether through civil or criminal process, is a decision generally committed to an agency’s absolute discretion”;
WHEREAS, the President has repeatedly announced that interior enforcement prioritizes prosecuting and removing noncitizens who have committed serious crimes, and the Executive Branch, through the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), can decide not to prosecute a case, granting ”deferred action” to removable persons; and,
WHEREAS, the Department of Homeland Security, therefore, has the administrative authority to undertake an initiative to provide provisional status on a case-by-case basis to young people who would be eligible under the DREAM Act.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that since Congress has yet to pass the DREAM Act, Pride @ Work supports the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to establish a program allowing DREAM Act eligible youth to apply for provisional status on a case-by-case basis, thus allowing immigrant youth to pursue their dreams while contributing their considerable talents to the country they love and consider home; and
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Pride @ Work will continue to engage our members and allies in the struggle to pass the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform that respects the rights of all workers and is inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers and their families.