On June 18, the U.S. Supreme Court released its decision on Regents of California vs. DHS, the DACA case. The Court decided 5-4 that the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was “arbitrary and capricious” under the Administrative Procedure Act. Although the decision does not provide a permanent path to United States citizenship for Dreamers, I nevertheless dare to hope and dream this issue will soon be addressed and I will be able to serve our country and fellow Americans without fear.

I was brought to the U.S. when I was a year old. From starting kindergarten in fall 1995 to graduating from Loyola University College of Law New Orleans in May, the American educational curriculum has reinforced my American identity for over 25 years. I am immensely proud of my Mexican heritage, but the country that I love, hope to serve and give my loyalty to is the United States. I consider myself American.

An immediate and tangible benefit of the decision is that I will be able to sit for the bar this summer. I am committed to be civically engaged, to promote economic and racial equity and to forge paths and discussions that promote that diversity is our greatest strength: We are stronger together.

Although I am relieved that DACA can remain, it is only a stop-gap measure. For over a decade Congress has failed to pass a Dream Act. Fortunately, last summer the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Dream and Promise Act 2019. Now the Senate must act.

Republican and Democratic voters overwhelmingly support legislation to allow Dreamers to remain in the U.S. Attending to the American people’s sentiment is what makes public service noble and worthwhile, and we must take note of the wisdom of the American people’s will and judgment on the future of Dreamers.

Our country has always benefited from those daring to dream a better future for themselves and their families. Please urge our senators to support “clean” Dream Act, without stipulations for border wall funding or any other “poison pill” amendments that would sink the bill. Over 62,000 DACA-eligible residents provide medical care in hospitals and nursing care facilities across the country, and almost half of all DACA-eligible residents work in health care or another essential industry. A pandemic is not the time to lose that incredible talent and energy to deportation.

CINTHIA PADILLA-ORTIZ

attorney

Kenner