Support the BRIDGE Act


By Avery M. Gardewine

The post-2016 election fears of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, who are sometimes known as Dreamers, have become a reality. They are your friends, community leaders, husbands and wives, daughters and sons. They have earned high school, college and graduate degrees, started businesses, served in the military and contributed to our economy. They have proven that they are upstanding citizens by maintaining clean criminal records and paying taxes. The application and renewal process for DACA shows that the Dreamers are here to improve their lives and of those around them.

They have provided extensive documentation, filed numerous forms and paid fees to gain nothing more than the privilege to go to school or work without fear of deportation. DACA recipients are not granted legal status provided by citizenship and are not eligible for federal programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin has introduced the BRIDGE Act (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy), which will stabilize DACA by continuing the “provisional protected presence” and work authorization of Dreamers for up to three years post-DACA.

This should give Congress and the president the time needed to address the broken immigration system that bars Dreamers from becoming citizens. The approximately 790,000 Dreamers who have resided in the U.S. the majority of their lives may still have a chance to stay in the country they love if we act now. Please contact Senator Dick Durbin and voice your support for the BRIDGE Act at

Avery is a senior in Social Work. 

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