Here is a recording of the call.
Earlier today, Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and former ambassador to Panama John Feeley joined together with policy experts and a Dreamer to discuss the introduction of the new Dream and Promise Act (HR 6). Speakers emphasized the overwhelming reasons that permanent protections for these groups are necessary to protect American families and communities, national security, and the economy.
“Dreamers, DACA beneficiaries, and TPS recipients are Americans in almost every way but on paper,” said Rep. Mucarsel-Powell, a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the first South American-born member of Congress. “In last week’s Judiciary Committee hearing, I heard Republicans voice their concerns for Dreamers and TPS recipients across the country. Now is the time for them to demonstrate their support with their actions. It’s time we help immigrants come out of the shadows and stop them from living in fear. We will not stand by while the Trump Administration plays partisan politics with Dreamers, DACA, and TPS. Lives are being put on hold, straining our economy and our communities. We must swiftly pass this bill.”
John Feeley, former Ambassador to Panama, said, “Poverty, malnutrition, abysmal public education and lack of opportunity in Central America’s Northern Triangle and much of México are the norm. Those conditions alone are not reasons for asylum in the United States. They, are however, the cruel reality to which we will condemn over a million legal US residents if DACA and TPS individuals, who have played by our rules for decades, if they lose their protected status. The United States cannot save the world, but we can at least protect those who are here and contributing to our American Dream. Our values compel us to keep these people safe and not throw them to the wolves of criminal gangs and hopeless futures.”
Philip E. Wolgin, Managing Director of Immigration Policy, Center for American Progress included, “Dreamers, TPS holders, and DED beneficiaries are an integral part of our communities, our society, and our economy. The average TPS holder has been in the country for 22 years, while the average DACA recipient came at age 6. These communities pay billions of dollars in local, state, and federal taxes each year. They work in critical fields like health care, disaster recovery, and education. They start businesses that employ other Americans, and in general, have increased our shared prosperity as Americans. The Dream and Promise Act would these economic gains would be supercharged. But if they fail to act, and Dreamers, TPS holders, and DED beneficiaries lose their status and are kicked out of the workforce, the impacts on the U.S. economy would be drastic. The choice could not be clearer: Congress must pass the Dream and Promise Act immediately.”
“I am a 28 year old DACA recipient. I oversee a real estate team that sells around $20 million a year and I own 13 rental properties- so technically I am financially free, “ said Diego Corzo a DACA recipient and business owner from Austin, Texas. “Things weren’t always this way. My family moved from Peru when I was nine years old and despite getting into Florida State University, my status meant I couldn’t qualify for student loans or financial aid to help me pay my way through college. Even though I felt discouraged, I didn’t let my current circumstances determine my future. In front of me was only my vision and my aspirations. Getting my DACA permit added fuel to this fire. The ability to legally work in this country was a game changer for me- I was finally gonna be living the American Dream! I am here in before you, to urge congress to pass legislation so that TPS holders and Dreamers like me can have a future in this country. There are more than 2.5 million people like me who would be protected by the Dream and Promise Act. We are part of our American community. We have built our lives here and want nothing more than the opportunity to continue to contribute. The Dream and Promise Act would lead to stability and security for so many individuals and families like mine- it’s long past time for Congress to get this done.”