Calls on Congress To Pass Clean DREAM Act & Immigration Relief
NEW YORK, NY– Yesterday, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) held a rally at Trump Tower to launch the Dream for Our New York campaign demanding that the entire New York Congressional delegation sign on and push for a “clean" DREAM Act and TPS relief after President Trump ended Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) two months ago.
The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act is a bipartisan bill that would allow undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children and have continuously lived here be put on a path to citizenship.
The bill would be a permanent solution for those who currently qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), including the 40,000 DACA recipients in New York whose status is at risk. Two months ago, President Trump rescinded DACA and the administration and congressional Republican leaders are attempting to make increased border protections (including “the Wall”) a condition of any future bill. NYIC stands firm that Congress must pass a clean DREAM Act with no additional funding for immigration enforcement.
In addition, New York has tens of thousands of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders from countries all over the world who face an imminent loss of status if the Trump Administration and Congress do not act.
“We need a clean DREAM Act now so that nearly a million young people can work, study, and continue to build on the essential economic and social contributions they’ve already made to our country,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director of The New York Immigration Coalition. “Congress can not continue to horse trade with people’s lives; it’s time for New York to lead the charge for a common sense solutions that doesn’t compromise or pander to extremists.”
"In calling for a clean DREAM Act, we are saying that the wellbeing of Dreamers and the unity of their families is a non-negotiable and moral imperative. Saying yes to DACA recipients and Dreamers shouldn't be contingent on siphoning more federal resources towards deportation forces or funding a multi-billion dollar border wall," said James Hong, Co-Director at the MinKwon Center for Community Action, "The Dream Act merits passage through Congress without any strings attached, period."
"There are many Dreamers like me trying to obtain a higher education, seek stability for their families, and pursue their dreams to contribute to the society that we now call home. Now is the time for a permanent solution and a pathway to citizenship for us. Dreamers contribute to our society and economy in many ways - but this is not just an economic issue, this is also a moral issue. It is the right thing to do. We ask that Congress members who support the Dream Act to not only be supporters of Dreamers, but to be unrelenting champions for us. We demand for Congress to finally do what is right and pass a clean Dream act with a pathway to citizenship," said Paola from Cabrini Immigrant Services of New York City.
Over fifty percent of DACA recipients under the age of 25 are on track to receive a bachelor’s degree, and in total, over ninety percent of DACA recipients are employed. In the next 10 years, the country stands to lose $460.3 billion in GDP if DACA is ended without a legislative solution. In New York alone, there are 115,000 Dream Act-eligible individuals in the workforce who would add a projected $1.75 billion to the state GDP annually over ten years.
In the aftermath of the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on September 5th, the New York Immigration Coalition lead a 4,000 person rally at Foley Square and has provided free legal services for DACA recipients.
The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for nearly 200 groups in New York State. We envision a New York state that is stronger because all people are welcome, treated fairly, and given the chance to pursue their dreams. Our mission is to unite immigrants, members, & allies so all New Yorkers can thrive. We represent the collective interests of New York's diverse immigrant communities and organizations and devise solutions to advance them; advocate for laws, policies, and programs that lead to justice and opportunity for all immigrant groups; and build the power of immigrants and the organizations that serve them to ensure their sustainability, to improve people's lives, and to strengthen our state.