President Donald Trump's recent executive actions on immigration policy are showing us that we need permanent and comprehensive immigration reform, now more than ever. Coming from different party delegations, it is not often we cross the aisle and agree on an issue, but on this we can agree. It is imperative we support the bipartisan legislation that addresses one component of our immigration problem.
We are specifically concerned about the uncertain future of DREAMers, the recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The BRIDGE Act is a bipartisan legislation that was reintroduced to Congress at the beginning of 2017 and would grant DACA-eligible individuals a temporary work permit and deportation relief for three years after the bill becomes law.
Through DACA, about 800,000 young immigrants who came to this country illegally as children many of whom being too young to even remember their country of origin were given the opportunity to go to school, work and live without the threat of deportation. To qualify for DACA, they had to register and pass extensive background checks. They pose no safety risk. Most of them are studying or working and paying taxes. Some of them are nurses, teachers, entrepreneurs, and some have even served in our military. It would be a huge loss to our economy and our communities should these hard-working young adults have to suffer.