Rep. Steve Knight ignores 2,900 DREAMers facing deportation in his own district

Rep. Steve Knight ignored the plight of 2,900 DREAMers in his congressional district in a recent article about the Feb. 8 Congressional spending deadline.

When Rep. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale), California’s most vulnerable lawmaker, wrote an opinion piece in The Santa Clarita Signal about government funding, he was silent on the issue of DREAMers.

Californians overwhelmingly support the ability of DREAMers to stay in America, yet Knight refuses to distance himself from the anti-immigrant rhetoric of Donald Trump.

And Knight ignores the fact that a lack of an agreement on DREAMers is the main roadblock to funding the military priorities he lists.

Further, in a piece focused entirely on the military, Knight didn’t even bother to mention the hundreds of DREAMers who serve in the military, including “doctors, nurses, and service members with proficiency in a language considered to be of strategic importance.”

In fact, there are 2,900 DREAMers in Knight’s district, whose collective fate rest in his dismissive hands.

The biggest debate in Washington, D.C., centers around immigration policy in general, and DREAMers in particular. The immigration debate is tied to the recent government shutdown, and integral to avoiding another government shutdown when funding runs out on Feb. 8.

DREAMers — those in Knight’s district and those serving in the military — would be at risk of deportation if Knight and Congress fail to act. His silence is even more stark considering Latinos make up a third of the residents and almost one in four registered voters in his congressional district.

Most politicians claim to care about DREAMers, the group of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. President Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allowed individuals to come out of the shadows and live their lives without constant fear of deportation.

In September 2017, Donald Trump announced he’ll be ending DACA in early March 2018, putting DREAMers at risk of deportation, even though most of these individuals can’t remember any home other than the United States.

There is bipartisan support for action to protect DREAMers, but Republican majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives have stymied efforts to move such legislation forward.

Members of both parties are working toward a solution before Feb. 8, paving the way for a bipartisan agreement on funding the government for the year.

Knight, however, prefers to just ignore the issue.

Come November, residents may look for someone who speaks for them, rather than someone who remains silent.