Meet Priscilla, an American Dreamer.
Priscilla is one of hundreds of thousands of immigrants known as Dreamers. Brought to the United States at a young age, their families oftentimes fled terror, violence, or poverty in their home countries. Dreamers have been raised as Americans—embedded in American communities, attending American schools, paying American taxes, and contributing to society—but currently have no path to legal status or citizenship. There is no process or legislation in the American immigration system to address their predicament.
Congress has a solution on the table: the bipartisan Dream Act, which was just reintroduced in July 2017 by Senators Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham. If enacted, the critical legislation would provide an estimated 1.8 million young immigrants like Priscilla with the chance to earn citizenship--and America with the chance to fulfill its promise as a land of opportunity for everyone. If the bill fails to pass, this group is at risk of being deported back to countries they've never really known. And the U.S. stands to lose the benefits of their immense economic and social contributions.
“Where are we going back to?” Priscilla says about the possibility of being deported. “We don’t know Mexico. We don't feel safe there. We don't have family we're close to there. Where are we supposed to go, exactly?
“The way we grew up, we don't feel like outsiders,” she says of Dreamers like her. “In our minds, this is our home."
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