Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients are some of this country’s best workers, but their futures in the U.S. are uncertain. In fact, over one third of DACA recipients are working in essential COVID-19 response roles. And although DACA recipients contribute to our country in immeasurable ways, the Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling that could halt DACA at any moment over the next month.

There are nearly 700,000 DACA recipients that call America home. They came here with their families as children, and many are now leaders in their communities, small business owners, entrepreneurs, paramedics, teachers, agriculture workers, and more.

In 2017, the Trump administration attempted to terminate the program, throwing the lives of these young immigrants into chaos. The program, enacted in 2012, allows program recipients to legally study and work in the U.S., but following the attempted program rescission, their futures now rest in the hands of the Supreme Court. In addition to the human consequences of a DACA termination, if DACA authorized workers were removed in Maine alone, we would lose an annual $2.1 million in annual GDP.

Sen. Susan Collins has long called for Dreamer protections, and I ask her to work with her colleagues to finally pass legislation doing just this. It’s been over a year since the House passed the American Dream and Promise Act that would provide permanent DACA protections. It’s past due time for the Senate to take up this crucial bill.

Elizabeth Rennie
Portland

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