Media Availability: Evangelical Leaders, Forum Board Members, Participants in Congressional Meetings
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a meeting at the White House today, congressional leadership from both parties signaled their willingness to continue working toward a legislative solution for Dreamers.
Both sides acknowledged the importance of such a solution. In separate statements, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, said that while no specifics were agreed upon, discussions on a long-term spending agreement and Dreamer legislation will continue.
“I’m optimistic that this meeting has lain the foundation for progress on legislation for Dreamers,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “Voices on both sides of the aisle, as well as across our country, have made it clear that a solution is good for American workers and their families, and should not wait.”
Throughout 2017, conservatives across the nation have expressed support for a constructive approach to immigrants and immigration and are actively seeking a legislative solution for Dreamers now. This year alone, Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform leaders have held more than 400 events in 28 states and 109 congressional districts across the Southeast, South Central, Midwest and West.
Constituents also are thanking their members of Congress who are speaking up, including the 34 House Republicans who sent a letter to Speaker Ryan earlier this week urging a legislative solution for Dreamers before the end of the year.
Evangelical leaders, members of the National Immigration Forum Board of Directors and participants in Wednesday meetings with congressional offices are available for interviews.
The following are quotes from participants in Wednesday meetings with congressional offices:
Bernardo Castro, Dreamer and Brigham Young University Student, Provo, Utah:
“With every meeting with members’ offices, it was clear that we need an urgent, permanent solution to lift the fear that currently overwhelms this outstanding group of Americans. I was honored to stand side by side with faith leaders, law enforcement, and business professionals in urging for a legislative fix. It was evident that there is no other issue on Capitol Hill that has greater consensus than providing relief to the Dreamers.”
Rucker Preston, Executive Director, Texas Christian Community Development Network:
“During our time with members of Congress, I was very encouraged that our senators and representatives are people of faith and understand that the way we treat our neighbors is the way we treat our risen Lord, Christ Jesus. I hope and anticipate that a permanent, bipartisan, legislative solution will be made by our nation’s leaders to include those who are our neighbors, friends, and community leaders, in order that they may be able to continue to call the United States home.”
Jer Swigart, Co-Founding Director, The Global Immersion Project, Bend, Oregon:
“A just future for immigrants becomes possible when we align the resilience of Dreamers and the resolve of allies with the policy-making on Capitol Hill. I’m honored to have spent the day advocating for timely, permanent legislation for our country’s undocumented youth equipped with the stories of dynamic local partnerships between faith communities and heroic Dreamers.”
Lee Turner, Christian Business Leader, Barnabas Group, Houston:
“The Pledge of Allegiance ends with three important words: ‘justice for all.’ I said those words every day in my early school years. I meant them then. I mean them now. I pray Congress means them also. I’m eagerly anticipating a fix for DACA.”