Whitney Bakarich: Dream Act is legislative solution | SteamboatToday.com

Whitney Bakarich: Dream Act is legislative solution

Sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better. I am hoping this is the case for the 17,000 Dreamers in Colorado, following the administration's move to end DACA despite a public outcry from advocates on all sides of the political spectrum to members of Congress to protect the program.

The decision now puts 800,000 hardworking DACA recipients at immediate risk and leaves the clock ticking as members of Congress must find a replacement before President Trump starts phasing out the program in six months.

In this divisive political climate, both Republican and Democratic elected officials are finding common ground by issuing statements in support of DACA recipients. And, why wouldn't they?

DACA recipients are fully integrated into communities across the country – they grew up here, they study here, they work here and they pay taxes here. In essence, they are American in every way but on paper.

After the decision to repeal DACA was announced, Senator Gardner called it an "opportunity to fix this issue through the legislative process.”

I want to thank both of our Colorado senators, Senator Bennet and Senator Gardner for serving as a bipartisan example and taking action – not just making statements – by joining the Dream Act, which would protect DACA recipients, our communities and our economy.

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I hope they can serve as an example for other elected officials, like our Congressman, Representative Tipton. If Congress fails to act, there will be devastating consequences not just for our communities, but for our economy, too.

The bipartisan Dream Act is the legislative solution our country needs right now.

Whitney Bakarich

Steamboat Springs