Now that the federal tax bill is completed, many are calling on Congress to deal with a solution to the Delayed Action for Childhood Admissions program, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
A rally on Main Plaza last night focused attention on the plight of the estimated 130,000 'Dreamers' in Texas, people who arrived in the U.S. under the age of 15 with their illegal immigrant parents. They were granted temporary exemption from deportation by President Obama, but President Trump earlier this year announced those exemptions would not be continued, and called on Congress to come up with a solution.
"We came here escaping wars, povery, and dangerous living conditions in our country," said Barbie Hurtado, an immigrant and a member of the activist group Texas Refugee and Immigrant Network, one of the sponsors of last night's rally.
She says since the exemptions stopped being granted, thousands of Texas 'Dreamers' have lost their exemption, and are subject to deportation, many to countries they have never seen.
"They don't know, they have never been to their country of origin," she said. "So sending them back would be horrible, it would be terrible."
She says due to the nature of DACA, all recipients have to maintain an honest and law abiding lifestyle, and be in school or have a job, so they are, by their very definition, the kind of people the U.S. should welcome. She says many are in professions ranging from medicine to law, others work in tech and in construction. She cited recent figures showing Texas essentially at full employment, and pointed out that deporting more than 100,000 productive people, people who have been educated in public school at taxpayer expense, not only doesn't make any sense, it could cause key industries at a time of full employment to grind to a halt.
"The strategy is for Democrats to refuse to vote on an omnibus spending bill (which is needed to prevent the federal government from entering into a partial shut down as of tomorrow night) if it doesn't include a clean 'DREAM Act'."
A 'clean DREAM act is a bill which does not include amendments dealing with border security, wall constrution or any of the other riders expected to be added by the Trump Administration.