Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World today announced its support of the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act, which was introduced by Sens. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC) last week.
The bipartisan BRIDGE Act would protect young, eligible undocumented immigrants (often referred to as “Dreamers”) from deportation, benefitting the United States through their continued contributions to the economy and military service. Durbin and Graham are expected to reintroduce the legislation in the 115th Congress, which begins its work in January 2017.
“Bread for the World supports bipartisan efforts like the BRIDGE Act, which would protect young people brought to the United States as children, from deportation,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “It would cover those who have gone to school or bravely served in our military, and are making significant contributions to the economy, both locally and nationally. They are buying cars and homes, starting businesses, creating jobs, and paying taxes.”
The BRIDGE Act would provide temporary relief from deportation, and employment authorization to young people who are eligible for the Department of Homeland Security’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. More than 740,000 young people have benefited from DACA since the Obama administration initiated the program in 2012. Applicants would be required to pay a reasonable fee, undergo criminal background checks, and meet certain eligibility requirements.
Bread supports immigration reform because a substantial percentage of undocumented immigrants in the United States lives in poverty. Immigration reform would help them escape hunger and build the U.S. economy. Hundreds of thousands of people would likely move out of hunger and poverty almost immediately if they were given a pathway to citizenship.
“Bread for the World advocates for legislation that keeps families together and ensures a place at the table for everyone in the United States, regardless of status,” Beckmann added.