September 5, 2017
LATINO LEADERS UNITED IN CONDEMNING DECISION TO END DACA AND CALL ON CONGRESS TO ACT IMMEDIATELY
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 45 of the nation’s preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, condemns President Trump for directing his Administration to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which successfully gives hundreds of thousands of young people the opportunity to live, work, and contribute to the only country they know as home. This decision is reprehensible from not only a moral standpoint, but also an economic one.
DACA was created to provide young immigrants in the U.S. the opportunity to work and study without fear of deportation. The application process includes thorough background checks. According to a Cato Institute study earlier this year, ending DACA and deporting current DACA beneficiaries would deprive the nation of over $60 billion in tax revenue and $280 billion of economic growth over the next ten years. This spring, polling found that 73% of those who voted for Donald Trump also support maintaining DACA.
In addition to condemning the decision to place in jeopardy over 800,000 people’s lives as they know them, NHLA, its members, and allies are mobilizing nationwide to ensure this president and his enablers in Congress and business are accountable for their actions. The Latino community and leaders at the local, state and national level are marching, registering voters and visiting Congress to lift up voices and demonstrate that discrimination will not win.
“Ending DACA has no economic, political, or moral rationale. The impact that this decision will have on the lives of hundreds of thousands of hard-working and talented individuals and their families will be devastating. Despite overwhelming data that shows that DACA recipients have helped the United States prosper as workers, taxpayers and civically engaged members of our society, this President and his administration have allowed hate, discrimination and racism to once again dictate the outcome of a critical policy decision that will have a long-lasting impact for the DACA recipients, as well as our entire nation. Trump has shown once again that he prioritizes scoring points with his racist, anti-immigrant base over what is good for our country and its citizenry. Despite this decision, we will continue to fight for Dreamers, their families and all immigrants. We urge Congress to take immediate action to remedy this situation and pass an immigration bill now before we feel the full consequences of this terrible pronouncement,” said Hector Sanchez Barba, NHLA Chair and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.
“Today’s decision simply demonstrates the true weakness of Donald Trump’s leadership; relying on tainted and biased ‘legal’ advice, he has decided to end an immigration initiative that been of incalculable benefit to our entire nation,” said Thomas A. Saenz, NHLA Vice Chair and MALDEF President and General Counsel. “The Congress must step up to fill the White House vacuum of leadership; enacting legislation to allow our nation to continue to benefit from this significant group of home-grown and educated talent is a no-brainer, and we look forward to swift legislative action that is fair and measured in acknowledging the contributions of all immigrants to the nation.”
"President Trump's threat to revoke DACA is his most immoral and mean-spirited anti-immigrant proposal to date. The ending of DACA in any form shatters the dreams and suppresses the potential of 800,000 deserving youth across the U.S. Today we reaffirm our solidarity with our DACA-mented, and DACA-eligible youth and their families, and pledge to do everything in our power to preserve their rights, protections, and opportunities. Hispanic Federation and its network of over 100 Latino community-based organizations will not stop until all of our nation's deserving immigrants are granted a viable path to residency and citizenship," said José Calderón, President, Hispanic Federation, and Co-Chair, National Hispanic Leadership Agenda Immigration Committee.
“Today hundreds of thousands of dreamers — our children, our brothers and sisters, our friends and neighbors — face widespread and brutal deportation from the only home they have ever known, because of the White Supremacist-in-Chief. President Trump has the power to help our communities, align with core American values of fairness and compassion, and do what’s right by supporting DACA and pushing for a more permanent path for just immigration. The consequences of deportation would be disastrous for DACAmented people and their families, which is why our members fought to win DACA under President Obama and it's why we continue to assert the right to stay for our loved ones. President Trump must use his executive authority for good, not for evil, by preserving the DACA program while pushing for its expansion through congressional action,” said Matt Nelson, Executive Director of Presente.org.
"We are saddened and disappointed to hear this decision regarding DACA. This program allows 800,000 young people to live their lives in the only country they know. These DREAMers studied, worked hard, and represented the best ideals of this nation. This decision will impact this country’s economy, and could potentially lead to $400 billion in lost revenue. On behalf of SER– Jobs for Progress National, Inc., we urge the Trump administration to reconsider terminating DACA, and instead commit to finding a comprehensive solution for these DREAMers," said Ignacio Salazar, President and CEO of SER-Jobs for Progress.
“President Trump has again chosen to appease the bigots in his base rather than do what it is the best interests of the country. This decision is not just short-sighted, it’s unspeakably cruel and gratuitous. Republican congressional leadership must act now to enact relief for these young people who contribute to our country every single day and have done what America has asked of them. Congress has the power to fix this, and there’s bipartisan legislation on the table to get it done. It’s time to translate injustice into action,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of UnidosUS.
“The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) is deeply concerned by the chain of events that President Donald J. Trump has put in motion by ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program,” stated Arturo Vargas, Executive Director of NALEO. “By eliminating this program, President Trump is turning his back on the wealth of talent and skills that more than 800,000 young hard-working Americans enrolled in DACA bring to this nation. These young individuals will now be forced to live their lives in limbo and constant fear for simply trying to pursue the American Dream. Vargas went on to say, “NALEO will not turn away from for our leaders and the Latino community at this difficult time. Our toll-free bilingual hotline 844-411-DACA (844-411-3222) will be activated immediately to help ensure that the thousands of individuals in need are able to be connected to real-time information and legal resources in their communities.”
"DACA recipients are daughters and sons, brothers and sisters, and some are even young parents. We are talking about 800,000 inspiring young adults who are going to school, working, taking care of their families, defending their communities, and contributing to the future of America. This is their home, their only home. Ripping their legal status away from them so that this President can track them down and deport them is immoral and wrong. We will not stand by as families are destroyed and separated. We will be relentless in our defense of those who are simply seeking a better life for themselves and their families,” said Mark Magaña, President of GreenLatinos.
“While only providing temporary relief, DACA gave young immigrant Americans the opportunity to contribute fully to the only country they call home,” said Pedro J. Torres-Díaz, National President of HNBA. “Now that the Trump Administration has effectively ended the program, it is up to our Representatives and Senators in Congress to step up and stand up for these hardworking Americans and pass legislation to provide them permanent relief. With several legislative proposals in Congress enjoying broad bipartisan support designed to protect these individuals, it is time to put them up for a vote and bring the uncertainty to a close.”
“The decision to rescind DACA protections is simply heartless and short-sighted. Our Dreamers know only the United States as their home and are being treated like criminals by an administration that pardoned actual convicted criminal Joe Arpaio, yet shows utter disdain for hard working immigrants who met the rigorous standards for DACA protections. These young adults are contributing positively to the U.S. economy and seeking higher education – exactly the type of immigrants the President previously said he welcomed. It is not fake news to say we are a nation founded, built, and made strong by immigrants. The U.S. Hispanic community will remain united in continuing the fight to keep our Dreamers in their home and to fulfill the promise of the American Dream,” said Amy Hinojosa, President & CEO of MANA, a national Latina organization.
“People of conscience will never forget this day. Our values were fundamentally betrayed by the president and the Republican Party that had the opportunity to prevent this attack. Through this action they have jeopardized the U.S. economy and our moral standing in the world. As a community, we must demand the immediate passage of a strong DREAM Act of 2017, which already has bipartisan support. As voters, we must demand more from our lawmakers, beyond mere statements and tweets of support. We need action," said Ben Monterroso, Executive Director of Mi Familia Vota.
“Thousands of farmworkers and their children were given the opportunity under DACA for a reprieve from deportation and a temporary work authorization. Farmworkers are contributing to our economy by ensuring a productive food system; employers in agriculture are claiming that there are not enough farmworkers. Ending DACA would harm farmworker families for no good reason and damage our economy. Congress should act now,” said Bruce Goldstein, President of Farmworker Justice.
“The National Latina/o Psychological Association condemns reduction or elimination of DACA provisions as a despicable attack on vulnerable children and youth who came to the US at an early age and have grown up with American values of hard work and persistence. DACA has allowed hundreds of thousands of youth to legally obtain identification, work permits, and college degrees, enabling them to participate in finding solutions to make America truly great. Rescinding or reducing the benefits of DACA condemns our youth to a shadow life of fear and despair and places them at risk for increased depression, anxiety, and isolation,” said Y. Evie Garcia, President of the National Latina/o Psychological Association.
“It is cruel and inhumane to pull the rug out from nearly 800,000 young people who have been making significant contributions as DACA recipients, and force them instead to live their lives in constant fear that they will be deported at any moment and separated from their families and communities,” said Patricia Tototzintle, CEO of Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network. “Such actions also heighten the risks of abuse and exploitation of those forced to live in undocumented status. It is urgent that Congress pass the bipartisan Dream Act and also work in a bipartisan manner to implement just, humane, and comprehensive immigration reform.”
“DACA needs to be preserved since it protects a group of outstanding youth now in universities and in the workforce, some are even future physicians who will be able to provide our community with competent cultural and linguistic care —all who would be the foundation for a productive economy and the national security of this nation,” said Dr. Elena Rios, President & CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association.
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ABOUT THE NATIONAL HISPANIC LEADERSHIP AGENDA
The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda is composed of 45 of the leading national and regional Latino civil rights and public policy organizations and other elected officials, and prominent Latinos Americans. NHLA coalition members represent the diversity of the Latino community – Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and other Latino Americans. NHLA’s mission calls for unity among Latinos around the country to provide the Latino community with greater visibility and a clearer, stronger influence in our country’s affairs. NHLA brings together Latino leaders to establish policy priorities that address, and raise public awareness of, the major issues affecting the Latino community and the nation as a whole. For more information, please visit: www.nationalhispanicleadership.org.
NHLA MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS
Alianza Americas | American G.I. Forum | ASPIRA Association | Avance Inc. | Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network | Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute | Farmworker Justice | GreenLatinos | Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities | Hispanic Federation | Hispanic National Bar Association | Inter-University Program for Latino Research | Labor Council for Latin American Advancement | LatinoJustice PRLDEF | League of United Latin American Citizens | MANA, A National Latina Organization | Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund | Mi Familia Vota | National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures | National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives | National Association of Hispanic Publications | National Day Laborer Organizing Network | NALEO Educational Fund | National Association of Latino Independent Producers | National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, Inc. | National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators | National Hispanic Council on Aging | National Hispanic Environmental Council | National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts | National Hispanic Media Coalition | National Hispanic Medical Association | National Institute for Latino Policy | National Latina/o Psychological Association | National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health | Presente.org | SER Jobs for Progress National | Southwest Voter Registration Education Project | UnidosUS | United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce | United States Hispanic Leadership Institute | United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce | U.S.- Mexico Foundation | Voto Latino