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Legislature Urges Passage of New Federal “Dream Act”

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Legislature Urges Passage of New Federal “Dream Act”

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Tompkins County Legislature, without dissent, urged the United States Congress to pass the new bipartisan-supported “Dream Act of 2017,” to prevent the revocation of legal status from immigrant youth protected under the five-year-old Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—an action it states will “strengthen the fabric of our economy and country.” Earlier this month, President Trump ordered an end to the DACA program that shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation. The “Dream Act of 2017,” introduced by a bipartisan group of Senators including New York’s Chuck Schumer, would establish a road to lawful permanent resident status or U.S. citizenship for about 800,000 registered DACA individuals.

Legislator Anna Kelles, who drafted the resolution, noted that she doesn’t typically like the Legislature to pass a lot of resolutions urging action on national issues, but in this case felt this very important. Ms. Kelles said she’s hoping Tompkins County’s support, when combined with those of other local governments, will create a push for action at the national level.

Legislator Mike Sigler, who cautioned that he doesn’t typically like to take positions on national issues, said he nonetheless supports this one. Not generally supportive of executive orders, Sigler said he believes this issue is a problem that needs to be taken care of, and to be taken care of by Congress. While not knowing complete details concerning the proposed new federal legislation, he said he sees it as a positive first step that Congress can take to address the issue.