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Protecting the DREAMers

There is legislation (H 3404) being proposed to allow the 6,400 people living in South Carolina as DACA recipients to have legal status.

Introduced on January 8 and currently being reviewed by the SC House Judiciary Committee, the bill was introduced by Republican Neil Collins and has 16 co-sponsors from both parties.

A companion bill (S0431) pending before the Senate Education Committee, would permit legal licensees to maintain and operate certain businesses. Under the bill, SC’s “Dreamers” could obtain legal licenses and attend colleges in the state. Under current law, their protections will expire in March, 2021. The bill would provide indefinite protection.

Why is this important?

Because it gives appropriate protection so Dreamers who live in South Carolina can be productive members of society. By allowing them to further their education, they would be qualified for employment and, thus, enhance the state’s income through higher taxes that come with their increased wages.

This should be a no-brainer, yet there is still a tremendous outcry against any sort of protection for those deemed illegal in today’s atmosphere of hate and divisiveness promoted by President Trump and embraced by his Republican supporters. Remarkably, despite this backlash, the legislation has bipartisan support.

There are still two years left to hammer out reasonable legislation while the current law is still in effect, so, why the rush to fix it now?

Too often, important legislation is left to the last minute, and what results is a hastily prepared compromise. The recent government shutdown is a perfect example of this.

So, while bipartisan unity on this issue exists, our lawmakers should seize this opportunity to keep those covered safe from any unnecessary anguish over their future. Those brought to this country as minors should be allowed to remain, so long as they obey our laws.

CJ Waldron is an adjunct professor at Horry Georgetown Technical College and a contributing Writer for the Horry County Democratic Party where he covers a variety of Democratic issues, news, and commentary. Opinions and viewpoints expressed in his articles are solely his own.
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