Nation watching lawmakers

Immigration has been the source of much of this nation’s greatest strengths, human virtues and economy energizers.

Our original U.S. Constitution set down the boundaries for federal law, then allowed for Congress, the Executive Branch and the Courts to update the Constitutional framework with new laws to reflect changing times and needs. Immigration needs and practices have changed a great deal since the 18th century when our Constitution was created.

In 2001, Senator Dick Durban, D-Illinois, first introduced the proposed “Dream Act” legislation to respond to the humanitarian needs of children brought into the US by their parents. Congress failed to act on that — or any other immigration proposal designed to meet the needs of this unique population. In July 2012 President Obama took a piece from the proposed Dream Act and issued a stop-gap regulation, “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”/DACA. Congress never addressed the problem, formalizing or altering DACA into law in the five years since then.

In July 2017, Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Dick Durbin reintroduced a bipartisan, immigration “Dream Act” bill — awaiting Congressional action.

My question to you, my congressmen, is what are you going to do and when to develop enlightened policy and law to respect the unique needs of these young people who have grown up in our country and consider this their home? An anxious nation and fearful Dreamers are watching.

— Barbara M. Tull