DREAM Act NowCHICAGO- The Illinois Senate Latino Caucus joins the outcry of many throughout the nation in urging congress to pass the DREAM Act before the holiday break. Advocates for immigrant rights believe that this may be the last chance for Congress to extend lawful immigration status to those brought to the United States as children.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protected young immigrants from deportation was rescinded by the Trump administration in September, putting the futures of hundreds of thousands of people nationwide at stake. More than 40,000 Dreamers reside in Illinois.

The Senate Latino Caucus members released the following statements:

“Trump is trying to make young people, who have lived much of their lives in this country and in this state, leave a place that has become their home. Washington needs to do what is right and take action now before it is too late,” said State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).

“Dreamers have garnered support from every corner of our nation and it is time Washington responds to them with action, not another false promise. These young people have waiting too long with their futures in limbo. The pressure is on Congress to do the right thing,” said State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), Co-chair of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus.

“Without the protections set in place by President Obama, Dreamers are left to face the threat of deportation and being sent to a country they don’t even know. Families are at risk of being torn apart if Congress remains idle. The moment to enact the DREAM Act is now,” said Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago).

“The young men and women who have benefited from DACA call America home and contribute their passion, talent and drive to our great, diverse nation. I urge Congress to put partisan politics aside and be on the right side of history with their vote on the DREAM Act,” said State Senator iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago).

“Every day that goes by without a fix for DACA, approximately 122 recipients lose their immigration benefits as politicians in Washington argue instead of offering answers. I am calling on federal lawmakers to stop using my friends and neighbors for political leverage and pass a sensible solution for DACA recipients,” said State Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago).