Several days ago the results of a recent poll gave heartening encouragement to all of us in favor of assisting younger undocumented adults and children to obtain legal status.
The USC Annenberg--L.A. Times poll showed that 61% of respondents favored granting a legal residency status following the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals [DACA]; 30% opposed the program; and 9% did not know or did not answer.
That 61% to 30% is consistent with all polls which give Americans the opportunity to voice their approval or disapproval to find a pathway to legal status for the 11 undocumented people living in our country. This is really encouraging for all of us who are trying to highlight the impossible status of so many of our immigrant brothers and sisters.
I hope and pray that President Obama and Governor Romney will take note of these polling numbers, and that they will be bolder in offering new and creative ways to bring our immigrant brothers and sisters out of the shadows, and to give them a sense of dignity and worth in our midst.
With almost 1.7 million young people eligible to participate in the DACA program, I am so enthusiastic about their ability to participate fully in our society and our economy, and with the right to work openly and freely, they will now be contributing to our economy through their various payroll taxes. This is truly a "win--win" situation for all of us.
However, the DACA program only grants this limited legal status for a period of two years. What will happen in 2014 when the two years expire? What will be the status of these young people? Will there be the will to extend the program indefinitely?
I am hopeful that these two years will convince Americans that the immigrants in our midst deserve to have their dignity recognized and to have an earned path forward so that they can move from the shadows and live fully in the light of our society.