Implicit in the name, DREAMers embody a story of resilience: they represent the millions of immigrants who were brought to the United States as children by parents seeking to shelter them from the poverty, violence, or persecution that they faced in their native countries. As a nation of immigrants that rose to become the most powerful, wealthy nation in the history of the world, our government is responsible for treating DREAMers and all undocumented immigrants the way we would hope our children would be treated. We cannot separate families and deport people to countries they have no recollection of, as Trump and the Republican party inhumanely insist. It is the responsibility of Congress to ensure all refugees and immigrants have the right to a life of freedom and the opportunity to become citizens – and Congressman Connolly has been fighting on their behalf since he was first elected.
Congressman Connolly is a vocal advocate for DREAMers, having supported the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program, which gave these young people the freedom to come out of the shadows and live a life without fear of deportation. He opposed the Trump administration’s attempt to end DACA and has joined in multiple bipartisan efforts to enshrine it into permanent law. Programs such as DACA have been vital for the future of these children, but we need to take the next step to make sure they have had the opportunity to work, attend school, and become US citizens. In Virginia there are more than 12,000 DREAMers, and Gerry is committed to protecting them as well as their families from the cruelty of any separation or deportation. He also staunchly opposed limits on refugees imposed by the Trump administration, and publically pressured President Biden to reverse those limits, as well as having introduced the Lady Liberty Act of 2021 to institute a minimum of at least 125,000 refugees to be admitted to the country annually. When the Afghan government collapsed to the Taliban, he joined the community in welcoming the fleeing refugees to Northern Virginia with open arms, and his office worked with public and private groups to coordinate the departure and asylum applications for more than 21,000 Afghans. As the grandchild of immigrants, Congressman Connolly knows that those who come to the United States pursuing the American Dream are not so different from us, and deserve a fair chance, and that the more than 11 million undocumented people who already live and pay taxes here deserve a path to citizenship.