As Trump Calls Schumer to White House, Conservative Leaders Urge a Permanent Solution for Dreamers
Assistant Director of Communications
January 19, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Prominent local faith, law enforcement and business leaders are sending a clear message to Congress: Do not shut down the government. Do pass a permanent solution for Dreamers while improving border security.
With President Trump reportedly having called Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) to the White House to try to avert the looming shutdown, bipartisan support for a solution is strong — within Congress as well as beyond.
The Uniting and Securing America (USA) Act, introduced by Reps. Will Hurd (R-Texas) and Pete Aguilar (D-California) on Tuesday, now has 52 bipartisan co-sponsors. It includes provisions for enhanced border security and the opportunity for current DACA recipients to earn permanent legal status and eventual citizenship.
Meanwhile, in the Senate, Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) are building bipartisan support for a pragmatic solution that balances protections for Dreamers with border security and other provisions. A total of seven Republicans have signed on.
“Bipartisan approaches are not only essential, they are right there on the table,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “They represent an incredible and rare opportunity for Congress to come together and provide practical, commonsense solutions that benefit American workers and honor our values.”
In contrast, the Securing America’s Future Act, introduced by Sen. Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia), proposes significant increases in immigration enforcement and includes no permanent solution for Dreamers. All 53 co-sponsors are Republicans.
The bill also includes significant slashes to legal immigration, moving America away from its tradition of family-based migration, and increases border security and interior immigration enforcement in the U.S. in ways that do not represent the best use of resources along the border and do little to enhance interior public safety.
Felix Cabrera, Lead Pastor, Iglesia Bautista Central, Oklahoma City, and Co-Founder, Hispanic Baptist Pastors Alliance:
“The bipartisan Uniting and Securing America Act both provides hope to Dreamers—including those within my congregation and many others throughout the country—and improves border security. It’s the best way forward in my view. Proposals that leave Dreamers without the chance of earning citizenship in the country they consider their home, that dramatically reduce legal immigration, and that restrict possibilities for family reunification are the wrong way to go.”
Caleb Campbell, Lead Pastor, Desert Springs Bible Church, Phoenix:
“It is absolutely essential that our Congress act with urgency to provide a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers, like those who serve in my church and strengthen our community. With protections for many Dreamers expiring every day, I support any bipartisan efforts that provide our Dreamers with a pathway to citizenship that can pass both the House and the Senate. It is my prayer that our members of Congress will act quickly and compassionately to resolve this issue.”
Dr. Drey Campbell, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, Idaho:
“As American citizens, it is our responsibility to show grace to those who desire to help this country grow into a more diverse and successful nation. This is a poignant time in history to support bipartisan legislative efforts that have the potential to shift the aging elephant in the room known as immigration policy. Dreamers and their families need our voices to be loud and clear.”
Dr. Peter Crabb, Professor of Finance and Economics, Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, Idaho:
“The U.S. has a strong heritage of welcoming immigrants, and much of our economic success can be attributed to the skills, creative ideas, and work ethic of Dreamers, the millions of hard-working residents that risk losing their legal right to employment here. Economic research shows that immigration is good for U.S. worker productivity. At a time when the U.S. economy is doing well a policy that forces out many productive workers will only hurt us. Congress needs to work quickly to provide a permanent solution for these Dreamers.”
Dr. David Galvan, Senior Pastor, New Life Baptist Church, Dallas:
“I applaud bipartisan efforts to negotiate a permanent resolution for our DACA kids. We’ve agreed they deserve protection. We’ve agreed they are contributors to our economy. But there’s one bigger issue … we must also agree they are worthy of a path to citizenship. Great nations don’t politically and permanently identify anyone as a second class citizen.”
Edward Gonzalez, Sheriff, Harris County, Texas:
“Congress owes all Americans a bipartisan, permanent solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). A solution for Dreamers is also a solution for American workers, businesses, law enforcement, churches, our military, and entire communities. Dreamers are our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends. It is past time for our Congress to rise above the political rhetoric and demonstrate true leadership on this urgent issue.”
Pastor Brent Hobbs, New Song Fellowship, Virginia Beach, Virginia:
“Dreamers need a real solution now from Congress — one that treats them fairly and compassionately. Real lives and families hang in the balance. Time is running out and Dreamers will lose their ability to continue working and going to school, even after having met the requirements that were asked of them, if Congress doesn’t act. This issue shouldn’t divide us. The right decision is clear. Give these young people a way to continue their education, work, and raising their family by providing an earned path to citizenship.”
Chris Magnus, Chief of Police, Tucson, Arizona:
“As a police chief in a diverse city that benefits from the hard work and contributions of Dreamers, I urge our members of Congress to support bipartisan efforts to allow Dreamers to continue to strengthen our communities, like the Uniting and Securing America Act, led by Reps. Hurd and Aguilar. Partisan proposals that tie the fate of these Dreamers to a myriad of problematic propositions, including replacing local control of law enforcement priorities by mandating Washington DC-based solutions to enforce the law are unfortunate and unhelpful.”
Kevin Sampson, Pastor, Renewal Church, West Chicago, Illinois:
“Congress must pass a permanent solution promptly to protect Dreamers who have grown up in the U.S. and are an integral part of our churches and communities. Any legislation must support the reunification of families, a value we as a faith community hold dear, and honor our long-standing heritage of being a welcoming place for all immigrants seeking to call America home.”
Greg Smith, Program Director and Accredited Representative, LUCHA Ministries Immigration Legal Services, Fredericksburg, Virginia, and Field Personnel, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship:
“It is vitally important that Congress pass bipartisan Dreamer legislation. Young immigrants who will benefit the most from this legislation are feeling tremendous stress and worry, first by not knowing if they will be able to continue living and working legally in the U.S. past the end of their DACA status, second because they are anxious over Congress’ unending bickering and inaction, and third because they fear shortsighted legislation requiring funding for a wall and ending aspects of family-based immigration will hurt their loved ones. The moral imperative demands Congress do the right thing now by these hard-working young people and pass clean Dreamer legislation that guarantees their ability to live and work in this country, provides a pathway to citizenship, and keeps families together.”