May 26, 2017 09:17 AM

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The time for immigration reform is now, and currently, we have a chance at starting the road to that reform. This chance presents itself in the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (or BRIDGE) Act. The BRIDGE Act, if passed, presents a unique opportunity: The bill will provide federal protection status to immigrants who arrived in the US at a young age, and Congress can fix our current broken immigration system in the meantime. These immigrants contribute to their communities all over the country, just like anyone else, and the BRIDGE Act would allow them to continue to do so without the constant threat of deportation hanging over their heads.

The BRIDGE Act also presents our legislators with the opportunity to prove to their constituents that they are capable of reaching across the aisle to work on reforming a system that both sides agree is broken. Considering our political climate, I know that many of us have lost faith in our legislators; seeing many of them waste their time on what seems to amount to petty squabbling can be pretty discouraging. But bipartisanship is not dead, and our legislators can prove that to us by openly supporting and cosponsoring this bill.

Regardless of political party, we are all capable to seeing the humanity in those potentially affected by the BRIDGE Act. All it takes is putting yourself in their shoes to know that no one deserves to have their lives uprooted due to an unjust immigration system. That is why I urge my legislators, Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy and Rep. Clay Higgins, to support the BRIDGE Act and prove that they, too, can see the humanity in our citizens, regardless of their legal status.

Elizabeth Scott, Lafayette

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