The Honorable Tim Scott:
The September 2017 announcement by President Trump rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has put approximately 800,000 DACA recipients (Dreamers) nationwide at risk for deportation. That number is close to 6400 in South Carolina. Despite recent court rulings, the future for Dreamers remains uncertain without a permanent legislative solution.
These Dreamers grew up in America, came forward and registered with our government, passed extensive background checks and met education requirements. Those that live right here in South Carolina graduated from our high schools, work and live in our communities, worship with your constituents and contribute economically to the state. In fact, they contribute approximately $262,700,000 per year to the state, according to a 2017 study. If permanent protections, including a pathway to citizenship, are not passed into law, SC will not only lose a talented, educated workforce, but will also lose out financially.
Coming out and supporting Dreamers is not a Democrat or Republican issue. This is evidenced by a Fox News Poll conducted September 24th-26th, 2017 that revealed 79% of respondents favor a path to citizenship for Dreamers. In addition, over 800 business leaders from across the US support a permanent legal solution for DACA recipients. This includes business leaders like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook and General Motors Mary Barra.
Senator, over the past few months thousands of calls have been made to your offices and hundreds of letters have been sent to you personally. On one occasion in December, in just 3 days, over 2500 South Carolinians signed a petition in support of the Dream Act, which was delivered to your staff in Columbia. Additionally, thousands of constituents across the state have gathered in churches, universities, libraries, public spaces, and at your offices asking you to stand with Dreamers.
Yet, despite all this, you have not publicly stated your support for a plan to secure the future of DACA recipients and other Dreamers.
You and members of your staff have been very generous with your time and met personally with Dreamers from across the state on multiple occasions. You’ve heard their stories firsthand, and their stories demonstrate they are American in every way—except on paper.
It is past time for this issue to be addressed by Congress, and with competing deadlines and multiple legal challenges, time is running out—fast. If you do not comment now and support these youth, when will you? As your constituents, we urge you to declare public support for Dreamers in a stand-alone bill that includes a path to citizenship, so that DACA recipients can continue to live safely in the only country they have ever called home. We ask you to stand with all of us and vote for the Dreamers of South Carolina.