Burden on Congress to pass relief for DREAMers by March 5th
NEW YORK, NY – Early this morning, the Senate and House passed a two-year spending bill that boosts military and nondefense spending but excludes a DREAM Act. After last night’s brief government shutdown, Congress increased spending and raised the debt ceiling for the next two years, but woefully neglected a DREAM provision and did not include anything on immigration.
Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition said:
“Shame on Congress for leaving 800,000 young immigrants in continued limbo. Despite all the statements of support, our Congressional leaders – including Senator Schumer – have utterly failed to use their leverage to right the President's tragic and heartless error in cancelling DACA. As we near this final deadline of March 5th, the truth is clear - Congress must step up, do its job and put everything on the line to get justice for DREAMers, and all of our communities will be watching.”
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 Five months ago, President Trump rescinded DACA and the administration and congressional Republican leaders are attempting to make increased border protections (including “the Wall”) a condition of any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 NYIC has organized dozens of mobilizations in support of a clean DREAM Act, engaging thousands of New Yorkers, and has provided free legal services for DACA recipients.