Members of WA Delegation Condemn President Trump’s Decision to End DACA; Call for Protecting Dreamers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter to President Trump, led by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), members of the Washington congressional delegation, including Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Representatives Adam Smith (WA-09), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Denny Heck (WA-10) and Derek Kilmer (WA-06), urged President Trump to reconsider his decision to repeal DACA and make sure that Dreamers’ application information is not used for immigration enforcement. The members also called on President Trump to work with Congress to pass clean legislation to protect Dreamers.
“We write to express our profound disappointment in your decision to repeal the DACA program. This repeal will impose severe harm, not only on the 800,000 DACA recipients nationally, but also the broader community,” the letter said. “We urge you to immediately work with Congress to pass clean legislation to protect Dreamers.”
Termination of the program will impact more than 17,500 Washingtonians who have been granted DACA status in Washington state. Moreover, this move by the Trump administration will cost the state an estimated $1.1 billion in annual gross domestic product (GDP).
Full text of the letter is below:
September 5, 2017
The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a critical program that has brought tremendous benefits to our entire country. We write to express our profound disappointment in your decision to repeal the DACA program. This repeal will impose severe harm, not only on the 800,000 DACA recipients nationally, but also the broader community. We urge you to immediately work with Congress to pass clean legislation to protect Dreamers.
Rescinding the DACA program will hurt more than 17,500 Washingtonians who have been granted DACA in Washington state. Like many immigrants before them, these brave young people strengthen our economy and are valued members of our communities. DACA has allowed these young people to pursue their dreams to become teachers, doctors, and entrepreneurs. In addition, the program has provided these people the ability to support themselves and their families, relieving the fear of being ripped from the country where they grew up.
Elimination of this critical program will cost Washington state an estimated $1.1 billion in annual gross domestic product (GDP). Nationally, the cruel end of this program will cost $460.3 billion in GDP over the next 10 years. Moreover, a majority of Americans—78 percent—support giving Dreamers the chance to stay permanently in the United States. It is clear that ending this program is an unconscionable mistake. We urge you to take immediate steps to reverse course, and lessen the consequences of your decision.
All DACA recipients received a promise from the federal government that as long as they followed the law, the information they provided to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would not be used in immigration enforcement. Any change to this policy would have a chilling effect on individuals coming forward to pursue legal status for which they may be eligible. We strongly urge you to honor the promise the United States made to Dreamers who came out of the shadows and to not use information provided by DACA recipients to take enforcement actions.
Moreover, our state has long served as a leader in welcoming and protecting immigrants. Washington state has led the way to make certain that all residents have access to driver’s licenses, improved access to higher education for Dreamers as well as access to health care for children and refugees. Our economy and society are better for Washington state’s determination to create an inclusive society.
We urge you to reconsider your decision to repeal DACA and make sure that Dreamers’ application information is not provided to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In addition, we demand that you urge your Republican colleagues to work with us on bipartisan legislation that will provide protection to Dreamers and ensure their legal status does not lapse.
As you consider your next steps, we invite you to meet with Dreamers in our home state. We are certain that if you get to know these young people as we have, you will understand why your immediate action to protect these people is necessary.
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