BIPARTISAN MAYORS CALL ON TRUMP TO PROTECT DREAMERS AND CONTINUE DACA PROGRAM
Washington, D.C, Aug. 30, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In response to reports that the Trump Administration may soon end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, bipartisan mayors representing the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) called on the President to continue the program and allow young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to continue to live, work and study in the U.S. and contribute to the nation’s economy.
USCM Latino Alliance Chair Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Immigration Reform Task Force Co-Chairs Mayors Jorge Elorza of Providence, RI and Tom Tait of Anaheim, CA, and USCM Trustee Mayor John Giles of Mesa, AZ urged President Trump to keep the successful DACA program intact and give Dreamers the opportunity to continue to make invaluable contributions to our nation.
The mayors’ call coincided with Tuesday’s Mayors’ National DACA Day of Action – a day led by USCM and mayors across the country to showcase broad support for DACA and urge continuity. At least 66 mayors across 29 states and the District of Columbia participated in the DACA National Day of Action.
“Ending the DACA program, would be morally and politically wrong. DREAMERs are children who were brought to this country at a young age, with no choice in the matter, and are simply asking for the ability to continue studying, working and defending our country,” said Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza. “They are Americans in virtually every sense of the word and they deserve the ability to pursue the American Dream.”
“We are a city of immigrants,” said Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait. “Half of our residents trace their roots elsewhere and have made Anaheim their home. However you might feel about DACA, we have made a promise to our youngest immigrants that if they work hard and play by the rules, there is a way forward. The real answer to this issue and others surrounding immigration continues to be comprehensive reform. We urge our federal partners to renew their focus on fixing our broken system.”
“The American Dream belongs first to our children,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “DACA has given hundreds of thousands of hard-working, ambitious young people new hope of building lives in America — and spared scores of families the heartbreak of separation. We will do everything we can to help at the local level, but the President and Congress should act now to give them the security and peace of mind that everyone deserves.”
“Our residents who have received support from DACA are hardworking Americans who have graduated high school, gone to college and have made a positive impact on this country,” said Mesa Mayor John Giles. “This isn’t a partisan issue, it isn’t even a political issue, it’s a moral issue and it’d be morally wrong to take away the rights and futures from this group of young people.”
“Mayors see DACA working, through the 800,000 young people who are able to continue to live, work and study in the United States of America and who make invaluable contributions to our nation,” said USCM CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran. “The President should heed the unified call of mayors from both sides of the aisle and across the nation to maintain this program that improves our economy, makes our neighborhoods safer and keeps families together.”
“If the President takes away this vital program, it will be even more important to work with Senators Lindsey Graham (SC), Dick Durbin (IL) and other bipartisan members of Congress to pass legislation that would enable DREAMERs to earn lawful permanent residence and eventually American citizenship if they meet certain criteria,” Cochran continued.
The Conference of Mayors has had strong policy supporting DACA since the program began. Last month, USCM President, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, sent a letter to President Trump urging him to continue the program. At the USCM Annual Meeting in June, the nation’s mayors passed a resolution to support extension of the DACA program and permanent legal status for DREAMERs.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are nearly 1,400 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/usmayors, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/usmayors