16 Governors, 20 Attorneys General, nearly 100 Mayors, over 250 State Legislators, and nearly 100 Local Elected Officials from 46 states support legislative solutions for immigrants living in limbo
In the wake of the Trump administration’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS), state and local elected officials across the country signed a bipartisan statement urging Congress to pass permanent protections and a path to citizenship for Dreamers and TPS holders, and to ensure our nation’s prosperity.
Due to the inhumane and cruel actions taken during the first two years of Trump’s administration—including ending DACA and TPS— millions of people have been deprived of their right to live their normal lives. Dreamers and TPS holders are deeply rooted in communities across America. The average DACA recipient came to the country at age six, while the average TPS holder has been in the country for 22 years. These people, who are playing an integral role in our communities, are now facing an uncertain future, which could mean losing their ability to work lawfully, being separated from their families, and ultimately being deported from the place they call home.
Bottom line: It’s time for Republicans and Democrats to work together to pass permanent protection for these individuals so that they no longer have to continue living in fear and uncertainty.
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo: “Dreamers are Rhode Islanders. TPS holders are Rhode Islanders. They are our neighbors, friends, classmates and colleagues. But for the better part of the last two years, their status in this country—for many, the only home they’ve ever known—has been uncertain. It is time for Congress to act and provide permanent protection and a pathway to citizenship for these important members of our communities.”
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy: “Across every town, borough, and county, the richness of New Jersey’s cultural fabric is in large part due to the diverse communities that grace our state, and our Dreamers and TPS holders are no exception. I have long held that the policies and rhetoric in Washington unfairly target our immigrant communities, who play a critical role in our state, and who are our friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Dreamers and other immigrants who come to this country seeking a better life are every bit as American as me, my wife, and our four children. It is long past time for Congress to provide permanent protection to our fellow residents. For those who seek to build a better life for themselves and their families, New Jersey’s doors are always open.”
Washington Governor Jay Inslee: “The state of Washington is a place where immigrants and refugees are welcomed, celebrated and protected. They make our economy stronger and our communities richer, and we continue to stand in solidarity against the cruel and inhumane actions of the Trump administration. We are proud to be home to the nearly 50,000 Dreamers and over 7,000 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders living in Washington who are pursuing higher education, working, starting small businesses, and contributing to our state’s shared prosperity. It’s time for Congress to rise to the challenge and stand up to the president’s recklessness by ending the uncertainty, making these protections permanent and finally putting these hard-working women and men on a pathway to citizenship. It’s the right thing for our state and our nation.”
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer: “I have seen firsthand how federal immigration policies have harmed Michigan communities. Earlier this year, I stopped a proposal to create an immigration detention facility because separating families is inconsistent with Michigan’s values. From ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative to stripping long-time residents of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), the administration’s actions have contributed to an environment of uncertainty for thousands of Michigan residents. In Michigan alone, nearly 18,000 Dreamers pay $71 million in state and local taxes. The breadth of support from across the country represented with this letter sends a clear signal to Congress: protect our Dreamers and TPS holders and provide a pathway to citizenship immediately.”
Oregon Governor Kate Brown: “Dreamers embody the ideals of the American dream, and form a critical part of Oregon’s communities and economy. Dreamers serve in our military, learn in our schools, work and innovate in our businesses, and pay taxes. The 23,600 Dreamers who call Oregon home pay nearly $81 million in state and local taxes each year, helping to increase prosperity for all Oregonians. Last year I signed two bills into law that confirm Oregon is an open and welcoming state for immigrants—one expanding access to higher education and state financial aid for Dreamers, and the other to allow DACA and TPS beneficiaries who had their status revoked to renew their driver’s licenses. I am proud to stand with over 500 of my colleagues today in standing up for Dreamers and TPS and DED beneficiaries.”
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham: “It is long past time to bring an end to the political chaos that has embroiled DREAMers and TPS beneficiaries. The political games of this administration have treated these New Mexicans and Americans as pawns. No more. Dreamers and TPS beneficiaries are valuable and productive members of our shared communities. Indeed, immigrant families have been a cornerstone of this nation’s growth, contributing as much to the great country they call home as anyone who happened to be born here. It is time for Congress to act. For too long they have deferred permanent protection and a path to citizenship to these Americans.”
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak: “One out of every five Nevadans are immigrants, and our state welcomes them and celebrates their contributions to our thriving economy and cultural diversity. It’s long past time that Dreamers and TPS holders in Nevada and across the country stop being forced to live in fear and uncertainty. Passing permanent protections for Dreamers and TPS holders will send a strong message that we value these individuals’ role in our communities, and will allow them to continue to make meaningful contributions to our economy without the pain of living in limbo. Here in Nevada, my administration is taking a bold step in helping new and aspiring Americans participate fully in civic and economic life by establishing the Governor’s Office for New Americans to help immigrants and refugees navigate the process of integration while promoting their important contributions to our state. The success of our state is rooted in our ongoing commitment to welcoming and integrating new, aspiring, and visiting immigrants into the Nevada family. Congress must follow states’ examples and finally pass permanent protections for these important members of our communities – not only is it the smart thing to do, it’s the right thing to do.”
Colorado Governor Jared Polis: “As a member of the House of Representatives, I co-sponsored bipartisan legislation like the Dream Act, the American Promise Act, and the USA Act, which would have put Dreamers, TPS and DED beneficiaries on a pathway to citizenship. Now as Governor, I continue to fight for these groups, which are critical to Colorado’s families, communities, and economy. The nearly40,000 Dreamers in Colorado pay over $130 million in state and local taxes each year, while the 7,200 TPS holders pay $11.6 million each year. These funds help to build stronger, safer, and more prosperous communities for all Coloradans.”
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz: “The time has come for Congress to provide permanent protection and a path to citizenship for Dreamers and beneficiaries of programs like Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Dreamers and TPS holders have enriched and strengthened Minnesota’s cities, schools, businesses, congregations, and families. As a former Congressman, it is a moral imperative that Republicans and Democrats in Congress work together to enact bipartisan legislation that replaces fear and uncertainty with permanent protection for these individuals.”
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers: “Showing that Wisconsin is a welcoming, inclusive state is critically important. That’s why I am pushing to ensure that everyone in the state, including undocumented immigrants, are able to gain access to driver’s licenses and in-state tuition. The nearly 19,000 Dreamers living in Wisconsin pay on average $79 million in state and local taxes each year—it’s time for Congress to do the right thing for Wisconsin and put them, as well as those with Temporary Protected Status on a pathway to citizenship.”
Los Angeles, CA Mayor Eric Garcetti: “Washington should stop playing games with the lives of millions of our neighbors, teachers, students, workers, service members, and entrepreneurs — and send a clear message to our immigrant families: you belong here. Los Angeles and cities nationwide know that our Dreamers, TPS holders, and DED recipients enrich our communities and represent critical threads in the fabric of America. Congress must act now to preserve their right to stay, strengthen our economy, and serve our country.”
New York City, NY Mayor Bill de Blasio: “New York City was built, brick-by-brick, by immigrants like my grandmother who came here with little more than a dream. Dreamers, and other immigrants who come here looking for a better life, deserve the same opportunities that my family has received. Instead of abiding the Trump Administration’s cruel and callous policies, Congress must pass the Dream and Promise Act into law.”
The statement is available below in full:
We, the undersigned governors, attorneys general, statewide constitutional officers, mayors, state legislators, and local elected officials, are united in our belief that the time has come for Congress to provide permanent protection and a path to citizenship for Dreamers and beneficiaries of programs like Temporary Protected Status (TPS). These individuals and their families play an integral role in our communities, and make important contributions to our schools, workplaces, and shared prosperity as a nation.
In states and localities throughout this great country, Dreamers and TPS holders are helping to build a better America. Since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative was created in 2012, more than 800,000 immigrant youth have had an opportunity to transform their lives and to help transform the lives of so many people around them. On average, these young people came to the country at age 6, and are for all intents and purposes our fellow Americans. Similarly, the average TPS holder has lived in this country for 22 years, contributing in many ways including raising families, growing small businesses, and working in critically needed occupations–the vast majority of that time with lawful permission to remain and work in the country. Between them, DACA recipients and TPS holders have nearly 500,000 U.S. citizen children and many hundreds of thousands of other U.S. citizen relatives who depend upon them just as we depend on our own friends, neighbors, and loved ones.
Because of actions taken during the first two years of the Trump administration (and but for preliminary court injunctions that currently provide temporary protection to a subset of these individuals), these members of our communities face an uncertain future which could mean losing their ability to work lawfully, being separated from their families, and ultimately being deported from the place they call home. This would be senselessly cruel and also horribly counterproductive to the interests of our communities, our states, and our country.
As the leaders of states and communities across the country, we recognize how Dreamers and TPS holders have enriched and strengthened our cities, states, schools, businesses, congregations, and families. We believe it is a moral imperative that Republicans and Democrats in Congress work together to enact bipartisan legislation that replaces fear and uncertainty with permanent protection for these individuals. We stand ready to help them get the job done.