NEW YORK, NY - On Friday, a partial shutdown went into effect after congressional members failed to vote on a spending bill to keep the federal government open. Today, Congress voted to pass a stop-gap bill to keep the government funded until February 8th, 2018.
Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, issued the following statement:
“The overwhelming majority of Americans support a pathway to citizenship for the nearly million Dreamers in this country, but today Senator Schumer has let us all down by failing to stand up for them. The shutdown was a failure of Republican leadership to bring existing bipartisan bills to the floor, leaving millions of Americans without access to vital government resources. Now we are right back where we started, with Americans still living in limbo. We need a federal budget that reflects our values, and that includes a clean DREAM Act, health coverage for children, and disaster relief.”
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. Five months ago, President Trump rescinded DACA and the administration and congressional Republican leaders are attempting to make increased border protections (including “the Wall”) a condition of any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 the past four months, more than 13,000 individuals have lost their DACA status at a rate of 122 people per day.
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 NYIC has been pushing for a clean DREAM Act in New York and Washington, D.C., and will continue to put pressure on Senator Schumer and other legislators.