WASHINGTON – The faces of dozens of Dreamers covered on Tuesday the walls of a Methodist church just yards (meters) from the US Congress to send a request, through art, that the legislature find a solution to keep these undocumented youths from being deported to a land they scarcely remember.
Created by the Inside Out project, a collaborative art group, the large images of these young people’s faces presided Tuesday over the words of senators and activists speaking on behalf of these Dreamers’ rights and how the diversity and unity they represent constitute the essence of the United States of America.
Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said the only way lawmakers should go home for the holidays is to first pass the Dream Act, a reference to the urgent need Dreamers have for legislation to be enacted that settles their immigration status before the year ends.
He said Dreamers arrived in this country at such a young age they feel this is their only nation.
The government of President Donald Trump announced last Sept. 5 the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which then-President Barack Obama imposed by executive order, and which gave more than 800,000 undocumented youths an escape from deportation and the possibility of getting work permits.
However, Congress is currently divided between the Democratic opposition, united in its determination to regularize the situation of these young people, and the Republican majority, who condition their support for DACA on obtaining funds to strengthen border security.
Some Democrats have suggested that approval of the federal budget, which must be done before Dec. 22 to avoid a partial shutdown of the government, should only be done once the Dream Act is approved.
But the Republican leadership has called that “ridiculous,” since its members believe there is no such urgency in the matter because the Dreamers have until March until DACA becomes obsolete.