Locals urge Congress to act to protect Dreamers

Beatriz Maya (far left) speaks with David Wirt (far right) in U.S. Rep. Bob Latta's office Tuesday. (Photo provided)


BG Independent News

The Trump Administration’s announcement Tuesday that it would end protection for immigrants covered by the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, or DACA, has prompted local calls for legislators to step in to protect the so-called Dreamers.

Once the announcement was made , Beatriz Maya, the executive director of La Conexion, pulled together a small contingent to deliver a letter to the Bowling Green field office of U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) calling for him to support the Dream Act that is now before Congress.

That act would provide protection for these immigrants who were brought here as children by their parents who lacked proper documentation. The act would also provide them and other young immigrants with a path to become citizens.

The letter read in part: “We demand that you and all members of Congress take immediate action to protect DACA recipients contributing to communities across the country. We urge you to co-sponsor the bipartisan Dream Act sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sem. Dick Durbin (D-Ill) that would provide a path to citizenship to 1.8 million immigrant youth who grew up calling this country home.”

The letter noted it makes no sense in areas reporting labor shortages to deport people who have been educated and trained here.

Maya said six people visited the office and spoke with David Wirt, Latta’s district manager, for about 20 minutes. She said they were told that given the announcement was just made, he had not had time to contact Latta to get his position on the matter.

Maya noted in an interview later Tuesday that “we were never completely happy with DACA. It was only temporary. It allowed access work and study and in some cases travel abroad. It was limited, but for these kids it was lifesaving.”

Now she hopes Congress can improve the situation for young immigrants with the Dream Act.

Also supporting the legislation is Bowling Green State University President Mary Ellen Mazey.

At the Tuesday session of faculty senate, she reiterated her support for the Dream Act, and her and other college presidents resolve to do what they can to reverse the administration directive through legislative action.

“We’ll continue to work on it and see what we can do so the dreamers can have the opportunity to stay in this country,” she said.

In a statement to the campus community, Mazey wrote: “DACA students on our campuses have enriched our learning environment and brought extraordinary talent to our University. I am very hopeful that our DACA students’ legal status will be preserved by Congress.”

Dave Kielmeyer, the university’s chief communications officer, said that the university has six DACA students enrolled at BGSU.

There are about 800,000 Dreamers nationwide.