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New York News

Pro-DREAMer Activists Rally Outside Rep. Faso’s Office

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With the risk of deportation looming over their heads, young undocumented immigrants across the U.S. are hoping lawmakers will resolve their status before 2017 comes to an end. 

Activists have planned a week of events nationwide leading up to the December 22nd spending bill vote.

In Kinderhook, United We Dream, the New York Immigration Coalition and the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement staged a day-long rally outside Congressman John Faso’s  office to demand that the 19th district Republican and the rest of the state delegation push for action on the DREAM Act before Christmas. Jenifer Benn is with the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement.   "This is important that the clean DREAM Act gets signed before the end of the year, because it's a bill that provides protection for many, many people. It also ensures that they have a livelihood, that their lives have value. It's a bill that doesn't allow them to be used as bargaining chips for enforcement dollars. It's a bill that would provide them with, for lack of better words, a sigh of relief so that they can live their days as anyone else."

The National Immigration Law Center defines the "clean Dream Act" Benn refers to as one with zero funding for a border wall and increased border security. Speaking with WAMC, Congressman Faso says he already supports much of what activists want.  "The issue is they want a bill that only deals with the DACA issue and not deal at all with border security. That politically is not a possibility in either the House or the Senate. So we've gotta combine smart border security measures, and that doesn't mean a wall, that means increased technology and surveillance capabilities along the border, as well as making sure we enforce the law against those who overstayed visas, and that's half of the people who are in the country illegally today. But at the same time, the DACA kids who came into this country as minors, they've known no other country than the United States, so there's a way to compromise these differences and deal with it. But the notion that the House or Senate will pass a 'clean DREAMer' or 'clean DACA bill' is not possible."

With Washington's holiday recess approaching, Democratic attorneys general representing 20 states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and New York issued a press release Monday backing the "clean DREAM Act" efforts, saying it will  “ensure that Dreamers can continue to thrive without fear of deportation."

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