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Find solution for the Dreamers

Since Sen. Capito is on the panel tasked with keeping the federal government open, I’ve been watching what she’s been saying about spending negotiations. Late last month, she said there is a “sweet spot” where the GOP and Democrats can both agree and called for “some sort of legal status for DACA recipients that gives them the permanence of legal status.”

I strongly agree with her and I would bet most West Virginians do too. According to recent polling, 86 percent of Americans want Congress to offer Dreamers a permanent legislative solution. Under the DACA program, these individuals are studying, working, and starting businesses. In our state, they pay over a quarter of a million dollars in taxes annually. Our nation’s TPS holders also need a long-term legislative solution. They’ve been protected by Congress since 1990 after fleeing their native countries due to natural disaster or war. Sadly, they’ll lose all they’ve built if a solution isn’t found.

As a Lebanese immigrant whose mother and uncle came here on asylum, I understand what my family went through to eventually become American citizens — that’s why it’s so easy for me to stand with DACA recipients and TPS holders. They’re working hard, paying taxes, and contributing to this great country, just like my mother and uncle do. I’m proud to be part of a multi-generation, family-operated, minority-owned business.

I hope Senator Capito and her colleagues find a bipartisan solution for these immigrants so they no longer have to live in fear.

Ben Ekelman

Little Hocking

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