Click here for a recording of today’s call.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — University of Florida President Kent Fuchs and other leaders urged Congress to pass a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers on a press call earlier today.
Fuchs, who penned an op-ed together with a Dreamer this month, joined Volusia County Sheriff Michael J. Chitwood and Tallahassee Pastor Dean Inserra on the call.
“I don’t speak up on many national issues, but I do when they’re of critical importance to the future of the university, its students and its mission, which is to educate students who will make a difference in the economy of our state and our nation as well,” said Kent Fuchs, President of the University of Florida. “Our undocumented students are some of our best, and a pathway to citizenship is in the best interest not only of those students and our universities, but the state of Florida and our nation. I am a strong supporter of finding a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers like Mariana Castro and hundreds of thousands of others throughout our nation.”
“We need to cut through the rhetoric and look at the facts—to keep our communities safe, we need to protect victims and witnesses, and that means we cannot drive undocumented folks into the shadows,” said Sheriff Michael J. Chitwood of Volusia County. “I have deputies whose parents came here illegally and eventually became U.S. citizens—imagine if these deputies protecting my county had been sent home. We need Congress to act on this and allow all members of our communities to assimilate and become productive members of society who feel like they can trust law enforcement.”
“Having Christian compassion and respecting the rule of law as an American citizen are two ideas that don’t need to be at odds with each other,” said Pastor Dean Inserra of City Church Tallahassee. “As Christians, we value life—all people are made in the image of God. It’s unjust to punish children for crimes they didn’t commit. These ideas should not be complicated for a Christian. We want to respect the rule of law while upholding justice and love for our neighbors. I want Dreamers to know that as Christians, we’re pointing people towards strong compassion, understanding and awareness. We need to be united in the fact that these are our neighbors.”
“Dreamers are deeply integrated into the fabric of Florida and our nation,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “These local leaders illustrate the broad and deep impact that Dreamers have on our communities, and how devastating the loss of these young people would be to our universities, our congregations and our public safety. The unanimous sentiment from these three leaders speaks for itself—Congress can’t wait any longer to pass a legislative solution for Dreamers.”