tags: Press Releases

The Fierce Urgency of Legislation for Dreamers This Year: Leading Voices Call on Congress to Deliver

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Washington, DC – Prominent activists and corporate leaders are joined together in a call to action for Congress to deliver on legal status for Dreamers in the aftermath of the Fifth Circuit’s ruling against DACA and the reality that the decade-old program is likely to disappear in the near future.

Microsoft, Meta, Apple, Amazon, Google, Starbucks and Target are among the corporate brands pushing a new advertising campaign in support of a solution for Dreamers this year and no one can argue that their voices are not influential. Similarly, two of the leading voices from the generation that helped win DACA protections in the first place, Astrid Silva and Erika Andiola, write an impassioned joint op-ed in Univision calling on Congress to deliver on a bipartisan solution for Dreamers.

Silva can rightly be credited with lighting the fire under former Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada in support of Dreamers. She later went on to speak in primetime to the Democratic National Convention after Reid won a tough reelection campaign against an outspoken anti-immigrant candidate partly on the strength of his leadership for Dreamers. Erika Andiola was one of the first DACA recipients to work on Capitol Hill, was a key advisor to Bernie Sanders and an influential communicator and advocate in the field. Their joint op-ed, Only a bipartisan deal this year can save the Dreamers,” calls on elected officials to prioritize the urgency of delivering a legislative solution before the end of 2022: 

“The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has put President Biden and Congressional Democrats on notice, as their ruling on Texas v. United States has set off a chain of events that will certainly turn into a catastrophe should Congress fail to take action by the end of 2022.

Right now, nearly 700,000 Dreamers currently have the ability to work legally and are protected from deportation under President Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, often referred to as DACA.

However, this group of young immigrants who came here as children are in imminent danger of being stripped of their immigration protections, including the ability to work and drive legally, now that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that DACA is unlawful and sent it back to anti-immigrant Judge Andrew Hanen. One thing is clear, Judge Hanen is no friend of the immigrant community and is likely to act harshly against the DACA program as he has done in the past.

…Right now, Congress needs to cut a bi-partisan deal and pass immigration legislation in 2022, that means averting the weekly loss of 5,000 work authorizations from DACA recipients over the next two years should the program be terminated.

Congressional staffers should [use] the Fifth Circuit ruling as a wake up call and ensure their bosses (whether they’re seeking re-election or not) do not waste any (and perhaps the only) opportunity to pass immigration legislation — including the upcoming lame duck session of Congress.”

And today, NBC News highlights a new push from corporate America calling on Congress to deliver on legal status for Dreamers – and highlighting the economic importance of doing so.With DACA on life support, Microsoft, Apple and other big U.S. firms launch ad campaign to protect ‘Dreamers’explains, 

“Microsoft, Apple, Meta and dozens of other Fortune 500 companies launched an ad campaign Thursday to push Congress to pass a new law that would secure the fate of migrants known as “Dreamers,” part of a last-ditch effort to save the protections as federal courts seem likely to end the executive order that has protected them since 2012.

…The ad, running in The Wall Street Journal, The Dallas Morning News and The Charlotte Observer, warns congressional leaders that ending DACA would hurt the economy.

‘Collectively, we represent the backbone of an American economy facing tremendous workforce challenges as a result of the pandemic. We face another crisis if Congress fails to act on an issue that has strong bipartisan support from the American people,’ said the letter, signed by Target, Starbucks, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, Apple, Google, MGM Resorts and other companies, as well as the Business Roundtable.

…Apple CEO Tim Cook said: ‘Dreamers are an essential part of the fabric of our nation. They make our communities stronger, they make our companies more innovative, and they deserve a right to live in America with dignity. I stand with the bipartisan majority of Americans who agree that granting permanent protections for Dreamers is the right thing to do. It’s time for Congress to act.’

…Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said the business community could play a major role in shaping the immigration debate.

‘At some point, the business community will wake up and say: ‘Hey, we need immigration in order to meet our labor challenges. We have 11 million jobs that are going unfilled,” Menendez told NBC News.’”

According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice: 

“Congress has the obligation to deliver for Dreamers who are an essential part of our communities, our economy and our nation. The urgency for action couldn’t be greater. With the upcoming midterms determining control of Congress, the window to protect DACA recipients and other Dreamers through a long overdue bipartisan legislative fix is getting smaller and smaller – especially since Kevin McCarthy has reiterated his opposition to such a bill under a GOP-controlled House, if they take over.

Inflation and the economy are the top issues for voters across party lines and these corporations are underscoring the avoidable economic catastrophe we face if Congress fails to act before DACA recipients are kicked from their jobs or kicked out of the country they call home. These key voices from the left, right and center are sending a wake up call to Congress that the clock is ticking on a DACA rescue and that staving off further economic disruption and human tragedy is in their hands.

Now is the time to settle Dreamers’ unresolved futures once and for all and help American families and communities move forward. As the business leaders remind us, the failure to do so would not just cruelly endanger Dreamers’ futures and families, but harm the U.S. economy and all of us in the process.”