Our law firm has been accepting applications under President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals for several weeks now.
I believe if the members of Congress could meet these applicants, the Dream Act could pass both houses by a wide margin.
The DACA applicants are all under 31, and entered the United States prior to their 16th birthday. All applicants have no serious criminal background. All applicants have either graduated from high school or have or working on a GED.
My experience with these young adults has been very rewarding. I have heard the repeated refrains of, "I love this country! This is my country! I feel like I am an American! and This is my home country!" I have seen the excitement in their eyes as they begin to realize that they soon will be legally present and will be authorized to work and travel. Winning the lottery would not evoke greater excitement or gratitude.
I am reminded again that we live in a diverse, complex, and wonderful country. We have differences of opinion but yet respect one another and value diversity of thought. I myself was raised by a conservative Republican father and a liberal JFK-Democrat mother. For 54 years my parents would go to the voting poll and cancel-out each other's vote.
I am also aware that there are legitimate issues on both sides of the immigration debate. But after seeing the powerful and positive impact of the DACA program, I am convinced that providing a future for these innocent young people who are already Americans in spirit, is the right and proper thing to do.
I congratulate President Obama for his leadership on this program, and for his compassion for these deserving young adults.
America will be the beneficiary of this program.