LATINO LEADERS WELCOME INTRODUCTION OF AMERICAN HOPE ACT OF 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 45 of the nation’s most preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, is encouraged by the introduction of the American Hope Act of 2017. This piece of legislation will protect undocumented immigrant youth and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, and provide a pathway to citizenship during a time when they face great threats and uncertainty from the current administration. This legislation provides a critical step toward a more humane and just immigration policy.
Arriving in the United States at a young age, DACA recipients and immigrant youth have grown up in this country and represent a homegrown workforce that is helping to drive our economy. These young people should not be facing deportation, but rather they should be protected and provided an opportunity to seek lawful permanent resident status and subsequently citizenship. We thank Representative Luis Gutiérrez, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and other members of Congress who are working to ensure immigrant youth are not left behind. We urge other members of Congress to recognize the value of the American Hope Act of 2017 and move this legislation forward.
“The goal of the American Hope Act of 2017 is reflected in its name as the legislation provides hope for immigrant youth facing immense threats in the current political climate. Immigrant youth are some of the greatest contributors to our society, and we ought to not only fight for their protection, but also for their right to become citizens. The introduction of the American Hope Act of 2017 is a first step in the development of immigration reform, and we urge members of Congress to push this legislation forward and not stand idly following its introduction,” said Hector Sanchez Barba, Chair of NHLA and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.
“The introduced American Hope Act would indeed provide hope to America that it could: 1) continue to rely on a critical portion of its workforce and avoid economic disruption; 2) expect a high future return on the education of the committed and smart cohort of young workers made up of young immigrants; and 3) legislate consistent with its national values and history rather than shamelessly defer to a nativist fringe that would punish people for acts undertaken as children,” said Thomas A. Saenz, Vice Chair of NHLA and President and General Counsel of MALDEF.
“The American Hope Act of 2017 is an important step in the right direction in what is a long overdue need for a path to citizenship for DACA recipients. These DREAMers are helping to make our nation great. It’s time our immigration policies reflect that fact,” said Jose Calderon, Co-Chair of NHLA’s Immigration Committee and President of the Hispanic Federation.
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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