Commentary: U.S. Senator Tom Udall released a powerful video highlighting the stories of seven Dreamers from New Mexico as part of his fight for a permanent solution on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Udall urged Republicans to join with Democrats and work in good faith toward an immediate agreement that will protect the future of the 800,000 Dreamers in the United States, including 7,000 Dreamers in New Mexico.
Udall’s video tells the stories of seven Dreamers who — with the protection they gained under DACA — are planning for their future and pursuing their dreams. The Dreamers featured in the video were all brought to the United States as children by their parents who were fleeing danger or seeking better economic and educational opportunities for their children. They are all New Mexicans who work, attend school, and volunteer throughout the state, and are now at risk of losing their legal status, work permits and protection from deportation if Congress doesn’t act soon. Udall released the following statement:
“Our Dreamers are fellow New Mexicans and are as American as I am. They were brought to this country as children, and now, as young adults, they enrich our communities every day. Dreamers have every right to pursue their dreams here — in the United States, the only country they call home. But their lives are now hanging in the balance because of the president’s heartless decision to rescind DACA. Republicans in Congress need to work in good faith with Democrats to pass a solution that will immediately protect the future of our Dreamers. Last night’s court ruling temporarily blocking the president’s DACA decision does not lessen the urgency of Congress’ duty to act. We owe Dreamers real certainty: we must pass permanent protections for Dreamers into law, and we cannot delay any longer. Republicans in Washington, including the president, have expressed support for a narrow solution for Dreamers. Now, they need to walk the walk.
“As Congress works toward a solution for Dreamers, we also must act quickly to avert a government shutdown that would be devastating for New Mexico, which already has a struggling economy. We must work to reach a bipartisan agreement to avoid painful budget sequestration cuts to both our military and domestic priorities, and ensure important needs are funded like opioid addiction treatment and prevention, and funding for veterans. And we must address other emergencies, including reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program — which Republicans have let flounder for more than 100 days without funding — and providing funding for disaster relief, for Puerto Rico and for other states and territories that have been devastated by natural disasters. As bipartisan negotiations continue, I will keep fighting for a government that answers to and works for all New Mexicans.
“Republicans control the Senate, the House, and the presidency, and they have a decision to make: bring the country together, or continue dividing us. I believe the American people want to see results."