Speakers highlighted bipartisan support for providing a permanent solution to Dreamers

A recording of the press call is available here.

Washington, DC—Yesterday, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) joined leaders of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and Dreamer Denisse Rojas Marquez for a press call urging the Department of Homeland Security to extend the deadline to allow DACA recipients to renew their status. Speakers also urged Congress to provide a permanent solution for immigrant youth through the quick passage of the bipartisan Dream Act.

“Dreamers go to our schools, serve in our military, and support our economy. Dreamers have friends and a life here—for most of them, it’s the only life they’ve known. This country is the country they love and English is the language they speak, and deporting them would be cruel and irrational, inhumane and—very simply—repugnant to basic American values,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal.

“DACA enabled me to apply to medical school and get a job, but even more than that, it allowed me to live without the fear of deportation. It made me feel that for the first time, I could breathe,” said DACA-recipient Denisse Rojas Marquez.  “The announcement to rescind DACA was devastating because it left so many question marks about my future. I know first-hand the stories of hundreds of people across the country who are scared by the uncertainty we now face between now and the March 5 deadline. I hope Congress acts quickly in passing legislation. The clock is ticking and we don’t have much time.”

“I am proud to stand with Senator Blumenthal and a strong coalition of bipartisan mayors in support of extending DACA and ultimately providing comprehensive immigration reform. This is about protecting America’s homeland and the American economy—DACA provides employment authorization and protection from deportation for those brought to this country as children. The ability for young people to live and work in their communities without fear of deportation is the foundation of sound, responsible immigration policy. These young people have been able to participate in and contribute to our country, our cities, and our economy. Extending DACA is the right thing to do,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu (New Orleans, LA), USCM President.

“DREAMers in Providence add so much to our community and way of life. I’m joining mayors across the nation to ask for an extension to the renewal deadline because it is morally right. Real lives are in limbo and policymakers need to come together to protect them,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza (Providence, RI), Co-chair, USCM Immigration Reform Task Force.

“We have consistently called for comprehensive reform of a broken immigration system. If now is not the time for that, I don’t know when is. Leaving young people in the shadows is counterproductive for Anaheim and cities across our nation. As mayors, we understand the urgency of this issue and call for Congress to act without delay,” said Mayor Tom Tait (Anaheim, CA), Co-chair, USCM Immigration Reform Task Force.