ST. LOUIS – Congressman Lacy Clay is taking on Dreamers. The Democrat is co-sponsoring legislation to permanently protect young people who were brought to America by their parents who didn't go through the proper immigration channels.
Clay hosted a summit on the Dream Act at St. Louis University on Friday.
The DACA program protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to America as children from deportation. President Trump ended the original DACA program earlier this year and has given Congress six months to act.
“It's very important that we educate and hear from DACA students as well as the legal community on what protections are out there for these young people and keep them from being deported," Clay said.
The president's decision to end the program worries these dreamers and what it could mean for their families.
"Young people who have only known the United States as their country and participated in so many different ways—43,000 in the military, 22,000 teachers—came here at no fault of their own," said Archbishop Robert Carlson, St. Louis Archdiocese.
Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva, who also attended the summit, said this is not just a border state issue.
"This issue not particular to St. Louis, not particular from where I come from Arizona. It's a nationwide issue and the urgency to do something for 800,000 plus young people is upon us and Congress should not ignore it,” he said.
Rep. Clay said about 700 young people in the St. Louis region could be deported if Congress fails to act.