For Immediate Release
ALIANZA AMERICAS WELCOMES LEGISLATION – AFFIRMS URGENT NEED TO PROTECT DACA AND TPS
Chicago, IL. – Today, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced a bipartisan bill called the Dream Act of 2017, which would offer a pathway to immigrant visas for many young people, including those currently protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The DACA program has enabled more than 800,000 young people to work and continue their educations. This program is currently under dire threat, as Attorney General Sessions has indicated he will not defend it from legal action on the part of some states. Meanwhile, President Trump has made a variety of contradictory statements as to whether he will allow DACA to continue. Another temporary program, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), is also under threat. DHS Secretary John Kelly has stated that these programs were not meant to be permanent, leaving more than 300,000 long-term residents of the US in limbo. Approximately 90% of the individuals holding TPS status are from Honduras, El Salvador and Haiti.
Alianza Americas Executive Director Oscar Chacón had the following statement:
Alianza Americas reaffirms its commitment to the young people protected under DACA, to the people holding TPS, and the many other immigrant people who are already contributing so much to our society, and could do more if their contributions were recognized and valued. We welcome any legislative initiative that can start to fix our profoundly broken immigration system.
Providing a path to immigrant visas for DACA holders and other young people as this bill does, would be an important step forward. However, it must not be an excuse to build more walls, further militarize our borders, or ramp up deportations. Such actions both squander taxpayer resources and sow fear and distrust in communities.
The passage of a Dream Act is long overdue, as would be a path to legal permanent residency for TPS holders. Unfortunately, given the level of anti-immigrant rancor and partisan gridlock in Washington, we cannot afford to back down on the existing protections, such as DACA and TPS. Lives are at stake. As limited as they are, these programs exist now, and protect people now. It is imperative that the Trump Administration, Secretary Sessions and Secretary Kelly hear the message loud and clear. DACA and TPS must be kept in place until legislative solutions are actually enacted.