WASHINGTON, D.C. — A legislative solution for young immigrants who lack legal status is essential for American faith communities, public safety and the economy, community leaders said on a press call today.
Following President Trump’s recission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on Sept. 5, speakers called on Congress to move forward quickly on a legislative solution that benefits American workers and our communities.
The following are quotes from speakers on today’s call:
Leezia Dhalla, Dreamer and Communications Associate, FWD.us:
“Earning a work permit and protection from deportation through the DACA program has dramatically changed the trajectory of my life, and the lives of 800,000 other young people who rely on these protections to legally live and work in the country we call home. It has allowed me to get a job, pay my fair share of taxes and pay off tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. Every day we get closer and closer to a day when I will be evicted from the community where I have lived for more than two decades. Congress must come together to both pass and implement the bipartisan Dream Act, and provide Dreamers like me with certainty.”
Tyler Johnson, Lead Pastor, Redemption Church, Phoenix:
“Followers of Jesus are called to do justly and to love mercy, which compels us on this issue. We’re called to open our mouths for those who are mute and destitute and that means staying on the side of justice with DACA kids … We believe strongly that it would be wrong to deprive them of these opportunities — morally wrong as well as the wrong decision for the benefit of the United States of America.”
Janikke Klem, Vice President of Community Relations, Technology Credit Union, San Jose, California:
“One quarter of DACA recipients are pursuing post-secondary education. They represent a domestic source of intellectual capital that will work in different tech jobs, from start-ups to global corporations. Immigration has long been a source of strength for America’s innovation economy and DACA recipients contribute to this economic vitality. A recent survey reveals that half of America’s startups valued at $1 billion or more were started by immigrants. Immigration policies like DACA help ensure that we are able to continue to retain the best global talent and grow American jobs. Because of this, we call on Congress to pass permanent legislation such as the bipartisan DREAM Act.”
Police Chief Mike Tupper, Marshalltown, Iowa:
“As a police chief of a small but very diverse community in central Iowa, I see the end of DACA as a very destabilizing force in my community, and frankly the negative conversation around immigration has been a destabilizing force in my community and all of our communities. Local law enforcement across the country works very hard to engage the public and build trust. When Dreamers, and all immigrants, feel safe engaging with local police, all of our communities are safer.”
Most Reverend John C. Wester, Archbishop, Archdiocese of Santa Fe:
“I and many of my Catholic brother bishops are deeply troubled by the decision to end DACA … We believe that deporting exemplary young people who were brought here as children and who know only the United States as their home is not in our interest as a moral and generous people. Our country has the right and responsibility to regulate its borders. We ask that this be done humanely and we call upon our legislators to please pass the DREAM Act.”