News & Media

For Immediate Release –  February 12, 2018

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Three Weeks Away From The End of DACA, Faith Leaders Urge The Senate To Fight Morally For Dreamers

WASHINGTON – Starting tonight, the Senate will open debate on a number of proposals to provide permanent protection for DACA recipients. As we’ve been fighting for months to have a clean DREAM Act passed and to get protection for DACA recipients, we feel this debate is a long time coming – however, we want to be clear that we have not abandoned our principles. It is clear since its creation nearly five years ago that DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) has been extremely successful in allowing those who have received it to further their education and careers, and has garnered overwhelming support from faith, business, law enforcement, and other leaders.

“Since ending the program five months ago, DACA recipients have lived in a state of fear, wondering if they will continue to be able to stay in the only country they’ve ever known,” said Richard Morales, LA RED policy and program director for PICO National Network. “There is also the additional reality of having to worry about their younger relatives who are U.S. citizens, and their parents and others whom they help support. We are inching closer and closer to the March 5th deadline, and need as much support as possible in getting legislation passed.”

“We’re urging Senators to stay strong and fight for DACA recipients, and to not use the urgency of this debate to turn Dreamers into pawns, as lawmakers tried to do in January during the government shutdown,” Morales said.

“It is key that Senators fight for a clean DREAM Act, which means voting against legislation that would further militarize the border and expand the mass deportation machine while providing a path to citizenship for Dreamers, and voting in favor of those proposals which keep diversity and all family-based visas intact, and which reduce the number of ICE agents and detention beds. The fight for justice and protection for Dreamers has only gotten more heated with the Trump administration’s attacks on family unity and diversity visas. We affirm the rights of all immigrant people regardless of status, and refuse to accept any framework that criminalizes, divides, and dehumanizes our communities.”

“As these debates begin, we need our elected lawmakers – in the Senate as well as in the House – to resist efforts to bolster an already bloated budget for the mass deportation machine and send the message that it will not support or endorse the deportation of immigrant youth or continued separation of undocumented families,” Morales said. “We don’t need to further empower the efforts of ICE to round up those they suspect of being undocumented.”

“This is the first open opportunity that Senator McConnell is dedicating to officially debating about protecting Dreamers. We cannot allow Senator McConnell to be swayed by the back and forth of his fellow Republicans who have all but left Dreamers out of their debates. He claims to be ‘very sympathetic’ to the plight of Dreamers – we believe this is the time to act with compassion for all undocumented immigrants and not give in to legislation to further terrorize our families.