PROTECT THE DREAMERS; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 93
(House of Representatives - June 04, 2019)

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[Pages H4227-H4228]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                          PROTECT THE DREAMERS

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Costa) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. COSTA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to talk about our Dreamers and 
the need for Congress to work together now to protect them and provide 
legal status.
  Simply put, Dreamers are Americans, just like you and I, and they 
should be treated as such. They came here, brought by their families at 
a very early age: 2, 3, 4 years of age. For them, this is the only 
country they have ever known.
  They are our friends, our neighbors, and members of our churches, 
synagogues, and mosques. They serve in the military and attend our 
schools and universities.
  In my district alone, the 16th Congressional District in California 
in the San Joaquin Valley, there are over 1,200 Dreamers who are 
attending California State University, Fresno; the University of 
California, Merced; and thousands more who are attending our community 
colleges.

                              {time}  1100

  I have heard their stories, I have looked them in the eyes, and I 
have consoled them. They have great fear. They fear things that we 
would not probably think about, like driving to school and driving to 
work. They are fearful that they might be pulled over because maybe 
their vehicle has some sort of a violation, only to be pulled over and 
find out that they are not here legally.
  The jobs that they have--many of them full-time jobs, good jobs--are 
threatened by potential audits to the employers who are seeking to 
determine whether or not they are here illegally or not.
  Yet, in spite of all of those challenges, they work tirelessly to 
improve their education and to contribute to the betterment of their 
families and their local communities. They pay taxes. They give back.
  After all, isn't that the American way?
  They are the next generation of leaders in various regions throughout 
our communities, yet they are living in fear every day that they could 
be deported. They fear for their families, and they fear for their 
futures as they wait to see if they will be removed from the only home 
they have ever known.
  Can you imagine being in a household where some members of your 
family are here legally, and some are not, and the notion that your 
family might be split apart, mother and father, brothers and sisters?
  How horrific that must be.
  They have trusted our government to uphold its word that we would 
give them protections under the DACA program. Now, of course, that is 
all under a cloud.
  We must keep our promises. Living with this uncertainty is just not 
right. It is unfair, it is unjust, and it is not the American way.
  My grandparents immigrated to this country, and they often faced many 
of the same challenges that our Dreamers live with every day. Our 
story, therefore--a nation of immigrants past and present--is their 
story. Their story, like my family, is the American story. It is a 
story of immigrants wanting to come here to have a better life for 
themselves and for their children.
  So, therefore, I am unwavering in my support that we provide them 
legal status. We must let our Dreamers know that we stand with them and 
that we

[[Page H4228]]

will not stop fighting for them. A majority of Americans want legal 
protection for Dreamers. Congress must listen, and Congress must act. 
Hopefully, we will do that today.
  So, Mr. Speaker, I stand here and say to my colleagues: Vote ``yes'' 
to pass the American Dream and Promise Act. It is the moral and right 
thing to do, and therefore we must do it now.

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