FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 29, 2022
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Over 70 Cities for Action Mayors & County Executives Urge Congress to Enact Permanent Protection for Dreamers
Mayors in Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Indiana and Ohio, among other states, send bi-partisan letter to congressional leaders expressing urgency to protect Dreamers before the end of the year
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Cities for Action sent a bipartisan letter, signed by over 70 mayors and county executives, urging members of Congress to enact permanent protections for Dreamers during the lame duck session.
The recent Fifth Circuit Court ruling declaring the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program unlawful brings the courts one step closer to ending the program indefinitely. Since its inception, DACA has protected more than 830,000 young people from deportation, allowing them to work and contribute to our economy. The letter underscores how ending DACA would have a devastating impact on millions of people including DACA recipients, DACA-eligible individuals, their families, friends and communities across the United States. With the forthcoming termination of DACA, Congress has an opportunity to provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrant youth this year. Large swaths of the American population support congressional action to provide permanent protections for Dreamers, including 65% of voters, business, faith and higher education leaders.
Excerpts from the letter read:
“We, leaders representing local governments around the country, are disappointed by the lack of Congressional action to pass fair and humane immigration reform and urge Congress to start by immediately enacting permanent protections for Dreamers, including DACA recipients.
Over the last decade, more than 830,000 of our family members, neighbors, and friends have been protected under DACA. During the COVID pandemic, 343,000 or more than three-quarters of DACA recipients in the workforce were employed in jobs deemed essential by the Department of Homeland Security. It is estimated that over 2.5 million U.S. citizens live with DACA-eligible people. Ending DACA would have a devastating impact on millions of people including DACA recipients, DACA-eligible individuals, their families, friends and communities across the country.
We call on Congress to – without further delay – enact legislation that offers permanent solutions for Dreamers. Together, we stand in solidarity with Dreamers and vow to continue supporting all immigrants living in our cities and counties. The time to act is now.
New York, NY Mayor Eric Adams: “With over 150,000 Dreamers living in New York City, their contribution to our communities are felt day after day. Dreamers serve at the highest level of our administration so that we can improve the lives of all New Yorkers. Ensuring Dreamers have a path to citizenship is a priority for us,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “From students and nurses to social workers and essential workers who served on the frontlines during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. is where each of these individuals go to school, hold a job, pay their taxes, and live as upstanding members of our society. I am joining mayors across the country to urge Congress to act on a permanent solution for our Dreamers. The time is now.”
Denver, CO Mayor Michael B. Hancock: “Dreamers are integral members of our communities – they’re our frontline workers who keep us healthy and safe, teachers and civil servants shaping the next generation, entrepreneurs who build businesses and revitalize our local economies. They’re our neighbors and friends, and so much more. This country is the only country many of them have ever known and call home, and they should be free from the fear of being driven from their communities. Congress must act now to protect DACA and the Dreamers we’re proud to call our fellow residents.”
Philadelphia, PA Mayor James F. Kenney: “I am proud to stand in solidarity with my fellow Mayors and demonstrate strong support of DACA recipients who call our cities home, and who contribute to our communities, economy, and culture across the nation,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Dreamers are vital members of American society and the only real chance we have at providing them stability and full protection is if Congress creates a promising and fair pathway to citizenship once and for all.”
About Cities for Action
Cities for Action is a coalition of nearly 180 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.