FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 18, 2020
CITIES FOR ACTION HOLDS MULTI-CITY TELE-TOWN HALL ON DACA STATE-OF-PLAY, RESOURCES FOR DREAMERS
NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Denver Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, and Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs officials and experts share opportunities for individuals to make their voices heard in support of Dreamers across the nation
NEW YORK – Yesterday, Cities for Action—a coalition of over 200 U.S. mayors and county executives advocating for pro-immigrant federal policies and launching innovative, inclusive programs and policies at the local level—convened officials and immigration experts from New York City, Denver, and Los Angeles for a multi-city tele-town hall on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Standing with hundreds of thousands of Dreamers across the country, NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Bitta Mostofi, Denver Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs Director Atim Otii, and Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Director Nora A. Preciado called for the protection of the DACA program.
While a Supreme Court decision on June 18, 2020, declaring the Trump Administration’s 2017 attempt to terminate DACA unlawful, delivered a hard-won victory for Dreamers across the country, the Administration could try again to terminate the program. During the this livestreamed event Thursday, the speakers urged action by the federal government to pass a legislative solution for DACA recipients and their families that creates permanent pathways to citizenship.
DACA recipients, or those who may be eligible for DACA, who are unsure about whether or when they should renew or apply for DACA, should seek legal assistance and consult a trusted legal representative to get answers to their questions. Legal help, resources, and the latest updates on DACA are available. Visit the DACA websites for New York City, Denver, and Los Angeles for more information.
“New York City, along with cities across the nation, joins with Dreamers and their families in celebration of the Supreme Court victory, a testament not only to their years-long advocacy but also the significant impact they have on all of our communities,” said Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner for the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “Although we are thrilled to see the court uphold the rule of law and critical protections for the hundreds of thousands of Dreamers, we know our fight is far from over. Through efforts like this tele-town hall we are coming together to ensure all those in our community have access to resources and information they need to renew their DACA. What's more, on this Citizenship Day we urge the Senate to pass the American Dream and Promise Act so that Dreamers across the country can continue their path to citizenship and permanently call our cities home.”
"I want to encourage all those whose DACA expires in 2020 to speak with a legal service provider or an immigration attorney about renewing your DACA as soon as possible,” said Atim Otii, Director of the Denver Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. “The time to act is now."
“Over 29,000 DACA recipients call Los Angeles home, and Mayor Eric Garcetti and his Office of Immigrant Affairs will continue backing up our Dreamers, supporting their families, and ensuring they are met with same opportunities as anyone else,” said Nora A. Preciado, Director of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “Across cities and municipal borders, our challenges are shared and our priorities are the same – and this DACA Tele-Town Hall enabled us to exchange the latest information and resources available at the local level for these remarkable young immigrants who strengthen our communities, our economy, and our future.”
During the tele-town hall, the officials and immigration experts provided an update on the status of the DACA program and the latest developments in litigation surrounding the program. On July 28, 2020, the Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf issued a memorandum significantly undermining the DACA program while the federal administration takes time to decide if it will attempt to rescind DACA completely.
As laid out in the July DHS Memo, the DHS is not accepting any initial applications for DACA by first-time applicants and has cut the duration of deferred action and employment authorization renewals from two years to one year, among other changes. Many of the states and organizations that brought lawsuits to stop the 2017 termination of DACA, including New York State, have brought new challenges to the July DHS Memo, arguing that these significant changes to the program are unlawful. The City of Los Angeles led a coalition of 55 cities and counties, including New York City and Denver, in an amicus brief in support of the legal challenges to the new DHS efforts to curtail DACA.
About Cities for Action
Cities for Action is a coalition of over 200 U.S. mayors and county executives working to advocate for and promote civic inclusion of our immigrant communities. Click HERE to see a list of Cities for Action mayors and county executives. To learn more about our work, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.