Fresno Chamber joins business leaders, DACA recipients to discuss path forward to protect Dreamers

Posted by Press on 03/05/2018

FRESNO, CA – Business leaders from the Fresno Chamber of Commerce, Wells Fargo, the Fresno Economic Opportunity Commission, DACA recipients, and other members of the business and non-profit community participated in a roundtable hosted by at the Fresno Downtown Business Hub to discuss the urgent need to pass a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers. The roundtable discussion took place just days before March 5, the deadline that President Trump gave to Congress to pass a legislative solution to protect Dreamers.

Dreamers contribute to the Fresno economy, to the social fabric of the Fresno community, and are key contributors to many Fresno businesses. In addition to the dire moral consequences of ripping apart families, the Fresno region could see a devastating loss of more than 19,100 workers who have DACA in the three Congressional districts covering Fresno, and lose out on more than $1 billion in annual GDP contributions if Congress fails to permanently protect Dreamers.

“There is a real social, human, and economic impact to the inaction we’ve seen out of Congress. Businesses up and down the Central Valley are facing the prospect of huge losses to their workforces and large turnover costs if Congress fails to do its job and pass permanent, bipartisan legislation to protect Dreamers.” said Nathan Alonzo, Vice President of Government Relations with the Fresno Chamber of Commerce. “The time to act is now.”

Also speaking at today’s press conference was Maria Lemus, a Senior Field Director working for the California State Assembly, a founder of a non-profit organization the Education Leadership Foundation, and a DACA recipient.

She said, “I’ve been living in this country since I was 9 years old. Since that time, I’ve co founded a non-profit organization, I have pursued my master’s degree, held a variety of jobs, and I currently work for Assemblyman Arambula. Giving back to my community is my north star, which is why I have organized a Giving Circle for Central Valley young people. Congress needs to take action so that my fellow Dreamers and I can continue contributing to our local communities.”

Dreamers are students pursuing their dreams, and are loving parents to U.S. citizen children. They are teachers educating the next generation of American leaders, nurses caring for the sick and elderly, and engineers building our roads and bridges. Dreamers are doing their jobs every day in the face of this urgent crisis. It is time for Congress to step up and do theirs.

Quotes from other participants in yesterday’s roundtable are below:

DACA Recipient, and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) Social Services Coordinator, America Hernandez: “People see immigration as a partisan issue, a legal issue. But immigration is not a partisan issue – conservatives and progressives agree that Dreamers and the immigrant community deserve a pathway forward.”

Mark Ranneberger, Northern California Director at “California is home to more than 220,000 DACA recipients who contribute more than $11.6 billion to the state’s annual GDP. Passing permanent legislation to protect Dreamers is not only a fundamental question of American values, it is an economic imperative for California and this country. Recent polling shows that 86% of Americans support a permanent solution for Dreamers, and any Member who claims to stand with Dreamers must act now and do right by them.”

Dora Westerlund, CEO of Fresno Downtown Business Hub: “These young people’s lives have been spent in America trying to achieve the American dream. Our Members of Congress need to stand up and do more than just give lip service to the issue – they need to demand that bipartisan legislation to protect Dreamers be brought to the floor. We will continue to do our part by activating and educating our member businesses about the need to speak up about this urgent crisis, and to vocalize the enormous consequences of failure.”

Irma Olguin, CEO of Bitwise Industries: “We need business leaders of all stripes, of all backgrounds, to step up and support our immigrant communities, and our DACA recipients. Bitwise stands strongly in support of Dreamers and we will continue pushing for a permanent legislative solution in Congress.”

Tim Rios, Wells Fargo Senior Vice President of Community Relations: “Dreamers are Americans in all but name. They are making a real difference in our local communities and to our local economies which have greatly benefited from this highly educated, motivated workforce. They feel they belong here, and we believe they belong here as well. It’s long past time for Congress to finally pass bipartisan legislation that gives them the certainty they deserve.”

Elizabeth Jonasson, Board Liaison and Community Engagement Director, Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission: “After hearing feedback from the community we work with, our Board decided inclusion was going to be a strategic goal for our agency. This includes finding a permanent legislative solution for DACA recipients as well as immigration reform that allows our communities to continue thriving.”

Xavier Vazquez Baez, Director of Immigration Services at the Education Leadership Foundation: “The foundation has supported more than 17,000 young people to receive fee assistance to apply or renew their DACA. These young people are contributing to our economy fully. We need Congress to step up and do its job; DACA recipients are doing theirs.” Statement on the Delay of H-4 Rescission Rule

Posted by Press on 03/01/2018

WASHINGTON, DC – President Todd Schulte issued the following statement on the delay of the H-4 rescission rule:

“We are encouraged by the news that, for now, over 100,000 people can continue working, providing for their families, and contributing to their communities. The H-4 rule is common sense: it lets the spouses of highly-skilled immigrants work once they have begun their wait for legal permanent residence. There is no evidence to show that the H-4 rule harms American workers in any way, and this latest delay shows that this Administration cannot make a case that does not exist. A federal judge dismissed this argument two years ago, that argument fails again today, and no new study or delay for more time will make it so. In fact, DHS considered economic impact when they issued the rule in the first place, and argued there would be minimal impact to the labor market. The calls of economic calamity are all smoke and no fire – or evidence, or fact-based.

“Many spouses of high-skilled workers are stuck waiting over a decade for work authorization, even after being approved for a green card, because of bureaucratic backlogs. Allowing spouses of highly-skilled workers who already have approved green card petitions to begin working is good for our workforce and for the well-being of future American residents and citizens. The Administration should take action immediately to keep this rule in place, and should begin working with Congress to pass legislation like H.R. 392, the ‘Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act,’ to address the decades-long green card backlog.”

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock Joins DACA Recipients, Business Leaders to Call for Permanent Protections for Dreamers

Posted by Press on 02/27/2018

DENVER, CO – Today, Mayor of Denver Michael B. Hancock joined local business leaders from Webolutions and Istonish, as well as two Denver-area DACA recipients, to call for a narrow, permanent legislative solution to protect Dreamers from deportation.

“Our Dreamers are being held hostage by an administration and congress that is unwilling to see them as anything but bargaining chips. Enough. This is an opportunity to come to the table for an open discussion that is critical to protecting these individuals, and Congress needs to pass a smart, bipartisan legislative solution for Dreamers now,” said Mayor of Denver Michael B. Hancock.

The press conference, hosted by, comes just days before March 5, the deadline that President Trump gave to Congress to pass a legislative solution to protect Dreamers. At the event, speakers representing Colorado’s robust business community called for Congress to take immediate action before nearly 800,000 Dreamers lose their work authorization and become priorities for deportation to countries they barely remember.

Speakers at today’s press conference included:
Michael B. Hancock, Mayor, City of Denver
John Brackney, Director of Public Policy & Community Engagement, Webolutions
Steven Brier, Vice President of Marketing, Istonish
Brandon Garcia, Dreamer; Merchandising Representative, Samsung Affiliate
Shiyan Zhang, Dreamer; Student, CU Boulder
Andrew Moriarty, Deputy Director of Organizing,

The overwhelming majority of Americans support protecting Dreamers because they understand that they make meaningful contributions to the wellbeing of the social and economic fabric of our nation. Dreamers are parents and students, engineers, nurses, and entrepreneurs in all 50 states. Colorado alone is home to 17,300 Dreamers and stands to lose $856.9 million in annual GDP if these hardworking individuals are torn from their families and ripped away from the workforce.

Additional quotes from today’s press conference:

“Americans have now come to the overwhelming super majority that we must do the right thing for the kids and young men and women in the DACA program and Dreamers generally. They must live with a valid legal status at a minimum, preferably with a pathway to citizenship. It is fundamentally unjust to leave these people in a state of uncertainty. Period. Deportation is impractical, but more important it would be cruel. Congress must act to fix a completely broken immigration system, for America’s economic prosperity and more importantly for a fundamental sense of justice,” said John Brackney, director of public policy and community engagement at Webolutions. Brackey is the former Arapahoe County Commissioner (R), CEO of the South Metro Denver Chamber and Colorado Army National Guard Officer.

“In a tight labor market like we have in Colorado, we need all the talent that we can get. At Istonish, we regularly employ DACA recipients because of their strong work ethic, education level and multilingual capabilities,” said Steven Bier, Vice President of Marketing at Istonish.

“The uncertainty that my family faces is not unique to just us. Thousands of families in Colorado are faced with the fear of being separated from their loved ones. My daughter is a U.S. citizen and it is not fair for her not to have me here by her side,” said Brandon Garcia, a merchandising representative for a Samsung affiliate and a DACA recipient.

“If Congress does not pass a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers, we will not only lose our jobs, but our hopes of pursuing the American Dream will die as we become targets for deportation from the only country we call home. I ask lawmakers to act urgently and pass protections so that Dreamers, like myself, can continue doing our jobs and contributing to our communities,” said Shiyan Zhang, a Dreamer and student at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

“We are committed to fighting for a permanent legislative solution to ensure that these young people can continue to live, work, and contribute to communities across the United States without the daily fear of deportation. Dreamers are students and parents, teachers, nurses, and engineers. They are doing their jobs every day in the face of this urgent crisis. It is time for Congress to step up and do theirs. Our nation — and these Dreamers — deserve better. We are now just days away from the March 5t deadline. No bill will be perfect, but inaction in the face of this crisis is unacceptable. Congress must act now,” said Andrew Moriarty, Deputy Director of Organizing at Statement on the Supreme Court decision to not rule on DACA

Posted by Press on 02/26/2018

WASHINGTON, DC – President Todd Schulte issued the following statement on the Supreme Court decision to not rule on DACA:

“The Supreme Court decision not to rule on the legal challenge to DACA is welcome news, because it means that more current DACA recipients will be able to apply to renew their work authorizations and protections from deportation. This decision, however, doesn’t change the uncertainty and fear for millions of Dreamers, their families, coworkers, and communities – all of whom need Congress to pass a permanent legislative solution to protect Dreamers.

“There continue to be strong, bipartisan bills in both chambers of Congress that would protect Dreamers and sensibly increase border security. The President should embrace these bipartisan proposals and urge Congress to pass them immediately. We are one week away from the March 5th deadline set by the President for Congress to act. Dreamers need Members of Congress to do their jobs and work together to get this done.”