AS CONGRESS dithers, the fates of some 700,000 “dreamers,” undocumented young immigrants brought to the United States as children, hang in the balance. Legions of chief executives, university presidents, advocacy groups and others have pleaded for lawmakers to lift the veil of uncertainty under which these immigrants, American in all but the legal sense, have lived since September, when the Trump administration announced it planned to end the protection from deportation they have enjoyed since 2012. Despite those pleas, Congress, facing a March deadline, has provided no legal means for dreamers to remain in the country where they’ve grown up, gone to school, worked and, in most cases, paid taxes.
Instead, the dreamers have become a bargaining chip, held in reserve by politicians seeking political advantage in Washington’s unending partisan battles. Large majorities of Americans favor allowing dreamers to stay in this country legally, as do top executives across the technology, retail, financial and other sectors. Still, an eminently solvable problem remains unsolved.
The haggling over dreamers is Washington at its dysfunctional worst.
The dreamers have become a bargaining chip, held in reserve by politicians seeking advantage in Washington’s partisan battles.