NEW YORK, NY – In response to today’s news that President Trump signed Congress’s continuing resolution on the federal budget until January 19th without a clean DREAM Act, Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, issued the following statement:
“We are deeply disappointed in our congressional representatives’ failure to do their job and pass a clean DREAM Act before the end of the year. Congress can not continue to horse trade with people’s lives. We need a clean DREAM Act that honors the contributions of thousands of young people who’ve made their lives here, rather than senselessly leaving them in fear and in limbo. We will continue the fight to include a DREAM Act in the budget because America will not be greater or safer by undermining our immigrant communities.”
The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act would serve as a permanent solution for those who currently qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), including the 42,000 DACA recipients in New York whose status is at risk. Four months ago, President Trump rescinded DACA and the administration and congressional leaders are attempting to make increased border protections (including “the Wall”) a condition of any future bill. Every day that goes by without a DREAM Act ,122 DACA recipients lose their status, joining the 12,000 who already have.
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. On Tuesday, December 19th, the NYIC, affected individuals, and advocates went down to Washington D.C. to demand a clean DREAM Act, staged sit-ins at congressional representatives’ offices, and some were arrested for civil disobedience.