National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

Media

On DACA Anniversary, Momentum for Reform Continues to Build

June 14, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On June 15, 2012, the Obama administration announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which temporarily removes the threat of deportation from young DREAMers — people under the age of 30 who were brought to the United States before age 16 and who meet certain residence, education and public safety requirements. A year in, this policy has become a reality for over 365,000 young immigrants — and momentum for broad, commonsense and permanent immigration solutions has only continued to build.

"As over 365,000 young hard working people have bravely come forward this past year, the country has stood behind them in support. And now a vast majority of Americans are urging Congress to finish the job by making commonsense immigration reform a reality. Deferred Action has proved to be a successful and commonsense program that protects hardworking undocumented young people from deportation," said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. "And, even more, it has given us a hint of what’s to come from immigration reform.

“DACA helped to show what conversations on smart immigration policy can and should look like. Americans have said in study after study that it’s time for common sense solutions that fix our broken immigration system. DACA demonstrated that there must be a permanent, legislative that gives aspiring Americans a chance to contribute fully to the only country they call home. ”

As the immigration reform debate gets under way on the Senate floor, two polls released Thursday, June 13, show the dynamic support for broad immigration reform that has developed. In a Fox News poll, 76 percent of respondents said that passage of immigration reform legislation is important this year, and 74 percent said reform should include a roadmap to earned citizenship for aspiring Americans who meet certain requirements. Separately, a poll sponsored by the Alliance for Citizenship, Partnership for a New American Economy and Republicans for Immigration Reform found very strong support for reform in 29 states.

In the past year, support for reform also has broadened among faith, law enforcement and business leaders across the country. On Wednesday, more than 100 leaders in the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform (BBB) network came to Washington and met with more than 80 congressional offices to show their support for immigration reform. One of the most inspiring stories of the day was that of Jesus Loya, a Utah angel investor and former DREAMer.

“My American story is one of hard work and perseverance, but it is not unique — I feel compelled to share it on behalf of the millions of aspiring young Americans, like me, who want to give back to the only country they know and love,” Loya said. “That’s why I’m here: to make sure that stories like mine are told, and to help ensure Congress knows that Americans are calling on them to fix our broken immigration system once and for all.”

As the debate in Congress continues to unfold, voters across the political spectrum are watching.

“We have come a long way on the road to immigration reform, but the fight is far from over,” Noorani said. “Deferred Action is a Band-Aid where we need a cure. We look forward to the passage of comprehensive immigration reform that puts into law a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and other aspiring Americans.”

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