Statement on DACA from Rev. Luis Cortes

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Official Statement – Philadelphia, PA: The White House announced today that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would begin a 6-month phase-out, and called on Congress to enact a legislative solution.

Our country needs Congress to act quickly to pass bipartisan legislation that will allow young people brought here as children to remain in the country and continue contributing productively to our society.  We are prepared to work with Congress to enact legislation that addresses the status of those brought to the U.S. as children by their parents.  Finding a legislative fix to address the Dreamers will provide a crucial lifeline to hundreds of thousands of youth for whom America is the only home they know.  We urge Congress to make this a priority and enact a resolution within the allotted time frame.

Many of our elected leaders have expressed an understanding of the task at hand.  As Speaker of the House Paul Ryan   (R-WI) recently stated in a radio interview, “These are kids who know no other country, who were brought here by their parents and don’t know another home. And so I really do believe there that there needs to be a legislative solution.”  Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) also recently affirmed that we “…need a workable, permanent solution for individuals who entered our country unlawfully through no fault of their own and have built their lives here.  And the solution must come from Congress.” Senator James Lankford (R-OK) has said that while it is right for there to be consequences for undocumented immigration, “…we as Americans do not hold children legally accountable for the actions of their parents.”  Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) stated during a town hall last month, “I have indicated in the past that I’m supportive of DACA and believe that the humanity aspect of this, what you described, is important — no fault of their own, circumstances beyond their control…DACA has made sense to me.”

We recognize DACA was an imperfect way of addressing the undocumented population in the United States, but allowing DACA to end without implementing a legislative fix would doom more than 800,000 young, productive lives. We urge the leadership of Congress in the House and Senate to create legislation that will pass.  We urge the American people: Make three phone calls today.  Call your member of Congress and your two U.S. Senators, urging them to negotiate openly, and to pass legislation within six months that will provide permanent legal status for DACA recipients and youth who qualify. Your three phone calls can help save 800,000 youth.  Make these phone calls today.

Thank you,

The Reverend Luis Cortés

President & CEO of Esperanza