WASHINGTON, D.C. — National security leaders signed a letter urging congressional leaders to pass the Dream Act of 2017 before the end of the year.
Signatories to the letter include a former Secretary of State, three former CIA Directors, two former Defense Secretaries and former U.S. military leaders. The letter stresses not only the significant economic cost of deporting DACA recipients — estimated to be a minimum of $7.5 billion — but also the national security cost that would arise from diverting these resources from combatting serious security threats.
“Rather than diverting resources to deport Dreamers, the U.S. Government should be focused on combatting the very real threats we face,” they write. “Finite resources should be prioritized to secure the U.S. border, deport violent criminals, prevent violent crime, and prevent terrorist attacks and cyber-attacks.”
The 13 signatories, which include Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, also highlight the critical role of Dreamers serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, arguing that deporting DACA recipients who serve in our military “would be a waste of resources, but more importantly, a travesty of justice.” This echoes a new report on the increasingly vital role of foreign-born military recruits in our nation’s military readiness and national security.
The letter emphasizes the urgency of reaching a solution before the end of the year, noting that including the Dream Act in in this year’s congressional spending bill is the best chance to pass bipartisan legislation, and likely the only chance for the foreseeable future. The deadline for this year’s spending bill is Dec. 8.
“Our national security is contingent upon the prioritization of limited resources to counter the most serious threats,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “In addition to disrupting the lives of thousands of individuals contributing to our nation’s prosperity, deporting Dreamers would divert critical resources from preventing real security threats, putting all of us at risk.”
The full letter is available here.