Washington, D.C. – Today, following oral arguments at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, United We Dream, Local Progress, Cities for Action, New American Leaders and State Innovation Exchange, led a pledge signed by over 100 state and local elected officials. The pledge demands President Biden and Congress take action to protect all immigrant youth, including DACA recipients, DACA elgible young people, and all 11 million undocumented people by delivering a pathway to citizenship.
Juan Manuel Guzman, State Advocacy Director for United We Dream, said:
“DACA is a victory for the immigrant youth movement and a testament of our collective power. Despite being temporary, the program has provided access to work, education, protection from deportation and even basic needs such as a driver’s license to hundreds of thousands. Still, the program is no longer enough. For one, DACA is not an option to the nearly 100,000 young immigrants who graduated this year from high schools across the country who don’t qualify because of arbitrary cutoff eligibility dates. Today, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments against the program, which put the protections of the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients at risk. State and local leaders have a stake in protecting their immigrant neighbors and we are glad there is growing support to stand with immigrants and demand both Congress and Biden permanent protections now!”
Helen Gym, Philadelphia Councilmember and Local Progress Co-Chair, said:
“As municipal leaders, we know that temporary and piecemeal responses to immigration have harmed both individual families and entire communities. Local elected leaders have stepped up in absence of federal inaction — establishing legal defense funds for immigrants facing deportation and covering DACA filing fees — but it’s still not enough. We demand federal action to make DACA permanent and establish a clear path to citizenship so that every community can be made whole.”
Basilisa Alonso, Political Director for New American Leaders and New American Leaders Action Fund, said:
“Ten years ago, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was created, providing a lifeline for millions of young people. And while DACA has allowed millions of people to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation, the reality is that it has always been a temporary solution for fixing part of our inhumane immigration system and falls short of what our communities need. As a movement of New Americans, immigrants, and people of color, we are proud to join the XX local elected officials—who are immigrants themselves or recent descendants of immigrants—in fighting for undocumented peoples’ rights and creating a country that represents and includes all people. It is past time for the Biden administration and Congress to deliver on their promises and create permanent pathways to citizenship for all undocumented people and a compassionate, equitable immigration system.”