Western Leaders Urge Legislation for Dreamers

Communications Assistant

December 14, 2017

Click here for a recording of today’s call

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today leaders from California, Utah and Washington urged Congress to pass a solution for Dreamers before the end of the year.

A sheriff, a university president and a business leader, as well as a Utah Dreamer, agreed that a permanent legislative solution can’t wait until next year.  More than 100 Dreamers lose work authorization and protection from deportation every day, a number that will rise to about 1,000 per day if no solution is implemented by the March 5 final sunset of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). A solution would take an estimated seven months or more to implement.

The following are quotes from speakers on today’s call:

Bernardo Castro, DACA Recipient and Student, Brigham Young University, Utah:
“Ending DACA without Congress passing a permanent legislative solution means that hundreds of thousands of us will soon lose our employment authorization, something that allows us to legally support ourselves and our families. We just want to keep contributing, keep providing for ourselves and our families, here in our home — the United States. There is so much consensus on this issue, which doesn’t happen very often politically. This is something the public wants—they see us as American. I feel American in my heart as well.”

Jason Mathis, Executive Director, Salt Lake City’s Downtown Alliance; Executive Vice President, Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce; National Immigration Forum Board Member:
“We are grateful that many members of Utah’s delegation are helping to lead on this issue and are calling for immediate legislation. There is really no excuse for congress not to act on this issue right now, before the end of the year.

“Smart people across the political spectrum recognize the urgency of this situation and nearly 90 percent of Americans want legal status for these kids. It’s the right thing to do for Utah’s economy and to keep America growing.

“It’s nice when the right thing to do economically is also the right thing to do from a compassionate and moral perspective. Congress needs to do their job and find a solution for DACA recipients.”

Sheriff Margaret Mims, Fresno County, California:
“From the law enforcement perspective, we need an immigration process that helps law enforcement focus on public safety, target serious crime and protect witnesses and victims. We need to ensure that our borders are secure, and at the same time, we need a process that helps us keep our communities safe. A solution for Dreamers, who have cleared security checks and are working, studying, contributing to our communities and strengthening our country in so many ways, is clearly a step in the right direction.”

Beck A. Taylor, President, Whitworth University, Spokane, Washington:
“As a university president, I have a front row seat to observe how these amazing young people, most of whom can only remember calling the U.S. their home, contribute intellectually, socially and spiritually to the vitality of my campus. Simply put, Whitworth University wouldn’t be the place it is today without our Dreamers. Congress must pass legislation that ensures their inclusion and safety as contributing members of our communities. Anything less would be a heartbreaking travesty and injustice.”