BPC Action, Groups Call for Bipartisan DACA Legislation in Immigration

Washington, D.C. 
– BPC Action today convened a broad spectrum of organizations to rally support for a permanent, bipartisan solution for immigrants impacted by the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. Failure to act on legislation before the end of the year will continue to push thousands of individuals out of our workforce and academic institutions, and ultimately harm the U.S. economy. Now is the time for Republicans and Democrats to come together and negotiate a real, actionable solution.

“Congress can show real leadership by taking on immigration reform rather than continuing to punt the issue down the road,” said Theresa Cardinal Brown, director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “Playing ‘all or nothing’ politics on this issue will result in nothing, and the thousands of individuals whose fate is on the line deserve something better.”

Failure to act on legislation before the end of the year will continue to push thousands of individuals out of our workforce and academic institutions, and ultimately harm the U.S. economy. 

Both Republicans and Democrats have expressed desire for a permanent solution to this matter. Yet, for legislation to be properly and fully implemented before the March 5th termination date, it should be passed and signed into law no later than the end of 2017.

“In the face of a government that is tearing families apart through deportations and engaging in a brutal crackdown on communities of color, our families, neighbors, co-workers, and classmates are facing a serious threat to their civil rights and their way of life,” said Rocio Sáenz, SEIU International Executive Vice President. “That is why we are here today to demand that Congress pass bipartisan legislation and protect Dreamers and immigrant families so they can remain together with their families.”

The number and diversity of participating organizations – including BPC Action, business and labor, the faith community, higher education, and advocacy groups – offers a glimpse into the broad public support for granting DREAMers permanent legal status.

The number and diversity of participating organizations offers a glimpse into the broad public support for granting DREAMers permanent legal status.

“Congress holds the fate of hundreds of thousands of productive members of American society in its hands,” said Jon Baselice, director of immigration policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “A failure to provide meaningful relief for the people impacted by the DACA program’s rescission will hurt not only the recipients of DACA and our communities, but also the companies that they work for or have created themselves, and our economy. Congress must act before the year’s end to ensure that the lives of these hardworking people are not needlessly disrupted by the loss of their ability to legally live and work in the U.S.”

“The vast majority of Americans, from every segment of society and across the political spectrum, support relief for DREAMers. That is true in Congress as well, where the votes from both sides of the aisle are there to resolve this urgent situation. Every day of inaction is impacting thousands of lives. It is time to deliver the solution our country demands and bring this to a vote” said Clarissa Martinez De Castro, Deputy Vice President of UnidosUS.

“Southern Baptists fundamentally believe we must provide a fair and just solution for these young men and women, known as Dreamers, not just because it is the ‘right thing to do,’ but because it accords with biblical principles,” said Travis Wussow, Vice President for Public Policy and General Counsel for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “This is a human dignity issue because every person, regardless of ethnicity, national origin, or any other tribal line, is an image-bearer of God. This is also a justice issue because the Bible is clear that we do not hold children responsible for the actions of their parents.”

“We believe that all persons are made in the image of God and are therefore endowed with dignity and created for a purpose; and so we support these ambitious, driven, intelligent people who want to pursue an education and fulfill their purpose,” said Shapri LoMaglio, Vice President for Government and External Relations for the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities. “Christian colleges, churches, our communities and our country benefit from the skills, talents, and gifts of Dreamers. Congress should act quickly to affirm their dignity by giving them legal certainty and a permanent place in our society.”

“We need a fix for DACA now,” said Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. “Hundreds of thousands of DACA students are pursuing a college education and making indispensable contributions to our nation. We can’t afford to let these students get caught up in politics. Dreamers deserve a bipartisan legislative fix that provides them certainty.”

“Americans agree that Dreamers should be given a chance to earn permanent legal status and, if they qualify, citizenship. Dreamers have much to contribute to our churches, communities, businesses and military. They have come forward, registered, passed background checks, and now await Congressional action,” said Galen Carey, Vice President of Government Relations for the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). “Congress has already delayed too long in providing the relief that Dreamers seek. If Congress does not act now, they will lose their jobs and we will lose their contributions to our communities. Before members of Congress go home for Christmas, they should pass legislation that assures every Dreamer a permanent home in America.”

“Each day that goes by without a solution on DACA fails hundreds of thousands of hardworking young people and the American workers in the communities to which they belong,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “America is strengthened by the Dreamers that so many people know as their neighbors, classmates, colleagues and friends from church. Members of Congress must move forward on a DACA fix that the majority of Americans want and need.”

“More than 10,000 immigrant youth have lost DACA protections since the program was terminated in September,” said Ignacia Rodriguez, Immigration Policy Advocate at the National Immigration Law Center. “Every day that Congress doesn’t act, more of these young people are losing their authorization to work and their sense of security in this country—their home. There is no justification for Congress to stall when thousands of lives are being uprooted. We need a permanent legislative solution now.”

“Now’s the time for Congress to end the uncertainty, do what’s economically smart, and find a solution for Dreamers,” said Jeremy Robbins, Executive Director of New American Economy. “We all know it, and the data proves it – Dreamers make immense contributions here. Turning them away would deal a major blow to the U.S. economy.”

“Not only is the moral case for Dreamers abundantly clear, the economic case justifying a permanent solution is as equally compelling,” said Jerry Taylor, President of the Niskanen Center. “Over 10 years, we can expect this population to contribute over $700B to the U.S. economy. Legalizing Dreamers is a no-brainer.”

BPC Action will continue to push Congress for a permanent solution for DACA recipients and DREAMers. BPC’s Roadmap for a DACA Deal outlines specific policy steps that could be included in a comprehensive, bipartisan approach.

Here is a full list of the organizations that joined BPC Action today to rally support for a permanent, bipartisan solution to the DACA Program:

  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • UnidosUS
  • U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC)
  • National Immigration Forum
  • National Immigration Law Center
  • National Association of Evangelicals
  • Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities
  • Niskanen Center
  • Council of Christian Colleges and Universities
  • New American Economy


Watch the full video here.