Sends Open Letter to Congress Urging Quick Action on Bipartisan DREAMer Legislation

Washington, DC — In response to today’s decision by President Donald Trump to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allowed young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to continue to live, work and study in the U.S. and contribute to the nation’s economy, leaders of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) issued the statements below.  In addition, USCM is sending an open letter to Congress urging quick action on bipartisan legislation that would enable DREAMers to earn lawful permanent residence and eventually American citizenship if they meet certain criteria. America’s mayors stand ready to do whatever they can to assist Congress in seeing such legislation enacted into law.

U.S. Conference of Mayors President and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu:  

“This is not only deeply flawed public policy, but a morally deficient decision that instills fear, tears apart our communities, and is contrary to the fabric of what makes this country great. These are young people in our public schools, in our colleges, embedded in our work force, and living in our neighborhoods. By no choice of their own, they came to this great nation and know of no other home. While they may not have had the blessing to be born in the United State of America, they are as much a part of this great country as my own children and it’s a shame that the president and his policy making don’t recognize that.”

U.S. Conference of Mayors Latino Alliance Chair and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti:

“Today’s decision is a giant setback for America, because all of our children should feel safe and accepted in a country that belongs to them. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has allowed close to 800,000 ambitious, patriotic young people to start careers, stay in school, and give back to our communities without fear of being torn from the people they love.

President Trump’s action on DACA is cruel — it threatens to tear families apart, puts our economy at risk, and will do nothing to unify America or make us more secure. The President should open his heart to the scores of families anguished by his decision, and reverse a course where he is so plainly on the wrong side of history and justice. I urge Congress to act as quickly as possible to pass legislation to protect the beneficiaries of DACA, giving millions of our relatives, friends, and neighbors the security and peace of mind that they deserve. DACA recipients are all of us: teachers, students, business owners, young people thinking about starting families of their own in the only country they know: the United States. They belong here. And we’ll fight for them to stay.”

U.S. Conference of Mayors Immigration Reform Task Force Co Chair and Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza:

“The elimination of DACA would be a direct attack on the American Dream for 800,000 young people. DREAMers are Americans in virtually every way and it is deeply disheartening that they now face additional anxiety and uncertainty. Congress has the ability to bring hope back to DREAMers and we urge them to come together in a bipartisan way. We have 6 months to get the job done, let’s get to work.”

U.S. Conference of Mayors Immigration Reform Task Force Co Chair and Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait:

“When it comes to immigration, there’s one thing nearly all of us can agree on: The system is broken and in need of comprehensive reform. Regardless of how it came about, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is not the real issue. Deporting young people who have been allowed to be a part of our communities would be wrong. But we as mayors do not have the power to pass legislation that would extend or refine DACA. We urge Congress to act to continue this vital program as the first step toward fixing our nation’s broken immigration system.”

U.S. Conference of Mayors Trustee and Mesa Mayor John Giles:

“DACA is an opportunity for individuals to pursue their dreams and contribute to this country. Dreamers attend our colleges, start businesses, buy homes, raise families and make the most of their opportunities. With DACA, individuals are able to get better paying jobs and contribute more to our tax base, and work in the fields that they studied. They are well-integrated into American society and are living proof of the American dream.”

U.S. Conference CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran:

“The Conference of Mayors has had strong policy supporting DACA since the program began and has been working hard for some time to protect Dreamers. At the Conference’s Annual Meeting this June, the nation’s mayors passed a resolution to support extension of the DACA program and permanent legal status for DREAMERs.  In July, USCM President, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, sent a letter to President Trump urging him to continue the program, and Mayor Landrieu and the mayors leading our immigration efforts sent a letter to Senators Lindsey Graham (SC) and Dick Durbin (IL) registering the Conference’s strong support for the Dream Act.  Just last week the Conference organized a Mayors’ National Day of Action in which at least 66 Mayors in 29 States and District of Columbia spoke out in support of DACA.”