Dent meets with ‘Dreamers,’ business owners
Congressman Charlie Dent, R-15th, recently met at Vynecrest Winery with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals advocates, “Dreamers” and businesses that rely on immigrants as employees.
The goal was to discuss problems facing children of undocumented immigrants who brought their minor children to America.
The Department of Homeland Security has rescinded the Obama-era program which allows such children to remain in this country.
The Trump administration has deferred rescinding the DACA program until February, with the hope Congress would address the unique challenges of the policy.
Two “Dreamers” were on hand to relate their stories as minors being brought to America by their parents.
Julio Martinez lives in North Carolina. He is a student at Lehigh University.
Though he was born in Mexico, he was brought to America as a two-month-old infant.
He would be at a total loss if deported.
Denard Vanegas, Guatemalan by birth, lives in Phoenixville. He was nine years old when brought to America.
Living in Phoenixville, he had no idea he was considered an illegal immigrant until he turned 16 and wanted to get his Pennsylvania driver’s license.
His parents told him he didn’t have the proper documents to apply.
He had neither a Social Security number nor a United States birth certificate.
Under the Obama DACA program, he now has his Pennsylvania driver’s license.
He is studying health and political science at Reading Community College.
Some economists put the loss of GDP to the Pennsylvania Treasury at close to $350 million if Pennsylvania’s 5,900 Dreamers are deported.
Several farmers from the region, including Sam Landis, Vynecrest Winery CEO, Lancaster area dairy farm owner Rob Barley, and Gary Lebo, who owns a greenhouse in York County, discussed the negative impact losing farm laborers would have on their businesses, and whethercurrent Homeland Security policies have scared off much-needed workers.
All three noted they have had minimal responses to help wanted ads from local community members.