NEW YORK, NY – The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) traveled to Washington D.C. to rally on the steps of Capitol Hill and to lobby representatives from the New York Congressional delegation, urging them to pass a clean DREAM Act before the budget. At that time, the NYIC and advocacy partners staged a sit-in at the various congressional office as an act of civil disobedience. Afterwards, the activists and advocates met with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to discuss next steps.
The NYIC demands a “clean” bill that would require no additional funding for immigration enforcement, including “the wall” and increased border control, as was previously proposed by Congressional leaders.
“We need a clean DREAM Act before the end of the year so that nearly a million young people can work, study, and continue to build on the economic and on social contributions they’ve already made to our country,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “Congress cannot continue to horse trade with people’s lives; it’s time for our New York congressional representatives to lead the charge for a common sense solutions that doesn’t compromise or pander to extremists.”
“Donald Trump has proudly and relentlessly pursued a cruel anti-immigrant agenda. The repeal of DACA put millions of young people at risk and did not make America greater or safer. Nearly a year after Trump’s inauguration, the resistance is stronger than ever and we will not allow Trump to turn bigotry into policy,” said Murad Awawdeh, Vice President of Advocacy at the New York Immigration Coalition.
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. Three months ago, President Trump rescinded DACA and the administration and congressional Republican leaders are attempting to make increased border protections (including “the Wall”) a condition of any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.
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.