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‘They Represent the Best Values of Our Nation’

Local Leaders Support DACA Recipients on Program’s Anniversary

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Local leaders are voicing support for recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and others like them today, the fifth anniversary of the announcement of the program.

“DACA led millions of Americans to realize that their child’s best friend, their neighbor down the street or the child sitting in the nearby pew at church is undocumented,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “We can’t unremember how integral DACA recipients are to our communities and everyday lives.”

Recent videos highlight the contributions of DACA recipients in North Carolina and South Carolina, and the following are quotes from faith and education leaders and veterans around the country:

Rick Champ, Director of Partner Development, Ignite Church Planting, Champaign, Illinois:
“The Dreamers are young men and women who are an integral part of our faith communities and country — they are our neighbors and family. They represent the best values of our nation. Together we need to develop a long-term solution welcoming them and allowing them to continue to thrive and fully contribute to our nation.”

Sarah Jane Holsteen, Adjunct Professor of English, University of Northwestern, St. Paul, Minnesota:
“As a college instructor, I recognize the vital importance of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in allowing immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors the opportunity to pursue higher education regardless of their immigration status. These students are highly motivated and dedicated to building a better future for themselves, their communities and our country. I support Dreamers and urge our Congress and president to legislate a just, permanent solution for these individuals; make the DREAM reality!”

Kathleen M. Klug, Ph.D., College Counselor, Aspen High School; Director, Colorado Western Slope College Fair:
“As a high school college counselor, I have had profound experiences with many Dreamers who have committed themselves to getting an education to take part in the American dream. These young people are hard workers who are adding to the economic health of our nation and will be educated contributors to America and our future.”

Mayra Macedo-Nolan, Pastor of Community Outreach Ministries, Lake Avenue Church, Pasadena, California:
“I will never forget the heartbreak I felt when the student I was encouraging looked at me and said, ‘What difference does it make? I am undocumented. I can’t afford college, and even if I could find a way to pay for it, I won’t get hired in my field. I can be deported at any time. There is no real future for me.’

“DACA changed that. This student and many others have gone on to college; some are studying while working. Each of them is proud of their accomplishments and excited about their future. The tangible hope that DACA has brought to my community has already impacted generations to come. As followers of Jesus, we know the power of hope. Hope changes things, and because of that hope, DACA has the power to transform communities. We must ensure that DACA remains in effect and our Dreamers can continue to dream.”

Capt. Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, USAF Veteran, Founder of Gracefully Global Group LLC, Hayward, California:
“I wholeheartedly support the critical protections the DACA program offers to brilliant, ambitious Dreamer students with servant-leader hearts as they prepare their minds to become leaders and contributors to American society. I meet them as I serve many students in high schools and universities across the nation.

“As an author and entrepreneur who has served in the U.S. Air Force, the telecommunications industry and the renewable energy sector, I know firsthand that our industries and government institutions need the Dreamers’ talent, their cultural gifts and their language skills to serve this nation in a global marketplace. I also urge Congress to draft and pass a permanent legislative solution for these Dreamer leaders. Let’s keep them in the USA to realize their God-given potential and let it be us, here, that benefit from their contributions.”

Travis Weiner, Iraq War Veteran and Law Student, Boulder, Colorado:
“DACA was, and is, an entirely necessary and sensible solution to Congress’ refusal to fix our broken immigration system. DACA recipients, often brought to this country as small children, are, for all practical intents and purposes, Americans, and they contribute to and serve this country in many ways, including in our universities, our hospitals, our legal system and the military.”

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