Under a sunshine filled sky, those holding out hope for a group of dreamers gathered outside of Congressman Mike Bishop’s Brighton office Friday afternoon.

Rallies, marches and protests are planned in various U.S. House Districts during the Congressional recess to encourage members to support and pass The Dream Act by December. Undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children are referred to as “dreamers”. Through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program, they are legally able to work, attend college and obtain valid driver’s licenses. They also pay income taxes. The Trump administration is looking to end the DACA program but gave Congress a window to act, which is why a group of concerned 8th District constituents gathered outside Bishop’s Office, hoping he’ll join with other Republicans to sign on and co-sponsor the Dream Act, House Resolution 3440.

Byron Haskins of Lansing was one constituent who wants Bishop to act, telling WHMI there are up to 1,100 dreamers in the 8th District but thousands statewide, contributing millions to the local and state economy. He says Republicans are joining other members of the House in signing on as co-sponsors and they want leadership from Bishop. The group Moveon.org says there are 7,070 DACA recipients in Michigan, and each year they contribute $15,938,000 in state and local taxes.

If nothing happens at the end of the year, the dreamers could fall into some type of limbo status and face deportation to a country they have never known because they grew up in America. That’s why Lelah Melton of Haslett came out. She says if they are deported, it will be to a country where they might not even speak the language or have relatives they’ve probably never met. Melton says she’s hoping that Bishop, who is quite conservative by nature and by vote, will sign on with other Republicans who have supported DACA and preserving The Dream Act. She encourages constituents of the 8th District to contact Congressman Bishop, honor DACA and support the dreamers.

Requests for comment have been placed by WHMI with Bishop’s office. In September, the Congressman commented “The previous administration overstepped its bounds with DACA, and it is clear that we need a legislative solution to address this deeply important issue. Congress has been given a timeline and we must now take a responsible approach that balances compassion and the rule of law. We are a nation that is bound by the Constitution and we must ensure t is followed.” (JM)