With DACA Ending, Get Behind The Bipartisan DREAM Act

By Ben Lewis

This afternoon, Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) held a joint press conference to reintroduce the DREAM Act, which is a piece of legislation that would replace DACA and codify its protections into law. Durbin and Graham indicated that they intend to make passing the DREAM Act a priority for September 2017. The bill is also sponsored by Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY). It’s truly the left and the right coming together to compromise to protect those who were brought here illegally as children. For more detailed information on the DREAM Act, head here.

At the briefing, Durbin spoke first, mentioning his disappointment with today’s DACA announcement and championing the bill as a way forward for the 700,000+ “Dreamers”. He is widely considered the grandfather of this legislation, having first introduced the idea 16 years ago.  He said of the dreamers that “these young people who were brought to the United States as toddlers, infants, and children deserved an opportunity to make their way in America and prove themselves,” and that this law would give them a chance. He also acknowledged that the co-authors of the bill weren’t on the same page with regard to DACA.

“Senator Graham and I agree on many things; we disagree on DACA. I think it was a proper exercise of President Obama’s authority; he sees it differently. But even though we come to that issue with a difference of opinion, we are in agreement as to where we are today.”–Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)

Graham, known for his ability to deliver memorable soundbites, then took over the podium and did not disappoint this “compassionate conservative” (yeah…whatever happened to those…) writer.

Speaking of the Dreamers…

“When you tell them to ‘go home,’ they’ll go back to the house they were raised in. They have no other country other than America. They’re no more connected to their home country than I am to Scotland, where my grandfather came from.”–Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Speaking to the Dreamers…

“You have done nothing wrong. You came here as children. You’ve contributed to society. You have passed criminal background checks. You’ve demonstrated your ability to be beneficial to the country now, and in the future. The only thing that stands between you and certainty in your life is the Congress. That cannot be that reassuring.”–Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

To various groups of Americans…

“If you’re a Constitutional Conservative, passing the DREAM Act should please you because the Congress is doing its job with the President signing a bill {rather than an Executive Order} passed by the Congress. If you worry about these kids, you should vote for the DREAM Act because it gives them what I think they deserve: a new life, in their home country {the U.S.}. To those in the Republican Party who vote no, I respect your decision, but let’s have a healthy debate. Make the case that these kids don’t belong here, because I’m going to make the case that they do, and we’re all gonna vote.”–Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

To the President…

“You have a chance to show the nation as the President of all of us where your heart’s at. You have a chance as the leader of the Republican Party to do two things: say that we are the party of Constitutional process–that we believe in doing it right, but {that} right means taking care of these kids.”

Today, the Trump administration exposed the underlying fundamental vulnerability of DACA specifically, and of governing by Executive Order in general: that when a President is elected from the other major Party, that new President can summarily and unilaterally reverse the EO, and in so doing bring immediate chaos into real lives of real people. President Trump actually may have done the “Dreamers” a favor, for should Congress enact a bipartisan law, it will establish a greater sense of stability for these young people, which in the end would be a better long-term solution than an easily-reversible Executive Order.

This bill has passed the Senate and the House in the past at different times, but never together to make it to a President’s desk. It’s time for us to contact our Senators and Representatives and urge them to get it done now. The clock is ticking.

 

Below is the press conference in its entirety, as streamed from Senator Graham’s YouTube account. It begins at approximately the 11-minute mark.

40-something husband and father of two little girls. Christ-follower. Theologically conservative (mostly-Reformed, but I lean strongly toward believer's baptism,) and politically Independent. I don't buy into the notion that Biblical principles align neatly with the stated platform of either major American political Party.I’m deeply flawed and fail constantly (and sometimes spectacularly) at living a life that reflects the Savior I claim to follow. Put bluntly, I’m much better at writing about living the Christian life than I am at living the Christian life. Please don’t see anything I ever write as lecturing you from any sort of position of authority or leadership.Visit my personal blog at https://benelou.wordpress.com. I'm also a contributor at https://www.eatprayvote.org.

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