Merkley, Wyden Join Push To Protect Dreamer Data

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that they are cosponsoring the Protect DREAMer Confidentiality Act of 2019, a bill to safeguard the private information—such as addresses and telephone numbers—of the young immigrants known as Dreamers to ensure they are not targeted by the Trump Administration for deportation.

“Dreamers are American in every way that counts,” said Merkley. “They trusted the government when they came out of the shadows to enroll in DACA, and we cannot betray that trust. We need to protect Dreamers and keep working towards a path to citizenship for these young Americans.”

“The Trump administration’s attacks on Dreamers raises serious concerns about how it could misuse the information these young people provided when they risked everything to step out of the shadows and trust the government,” Wyden said. “This bill protects these Dreamers from that potential abuse, and I am committed to fighting for this legislation as well as ensuring the Dreamers in Oregon and nationwide ultimately get a pathway to citizenship.”

President Donald Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September 2017, impacting nearly 1 million Dreamers across the nation, including approximately 11,000 in Oregon. There is no guarantee from the Trump Administration that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will not use the data of DACA applicants for deportation purposes. While DHS has stated on its FAQ page that information in DACA requests will not be “proactively provided” for immigration enforcement proceedings, it also stated that this policy “may be modified, superseded, or rescinded at any time without notice.”

Specifically, the legislation would protect the confidentiality of information submitted in requests for the DACA Program from disclosure to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or U.S. Customs and Border Protection for any purpose other than implementing the DACA Program, unless there are national security concerns or other limited exceptions.

The bill is led by U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and cosponsored by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Edward Markey (D-Mass.). 

A copy of the bill is available here