Bipartisan Group of Former DHS Secretaries Send Letter to Congressional Leadership Urging Passage of Dreamer Legislation by January 19

WASHINGTON, DC – A bipartisan group of former Secretaries of the Department of Homeland Security today sent a letter to congressional leaders urging lawmakers to pass legislation to protect Dreamers by January 19, as hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients face the threat of deportation without it.

In the letter, Secretaries Michael Chertoff, Janet Napolitano, and Jeh Johnson write of their “strong support of legislation” to protect Dreamers, and also “to stress that [any legislation] should be enacted speedily, in order to meet the significant administrative requirements of implementation, as well as… to provide certainty for these young people.”


In the letter, the former DHS secretaries underscore that “the realistic deadline for successfully establishing a Dreamers program in time to prevent large scale loss of work authorization and deportation protection is only weeks away, in the middle of January.”



Key excerpts:
  • “There is a misconception that because President Trump rescinded the program in a fashion where the number of individuals losing DACA escalates dramatically starting March 5th, there is no urgency about addressing Dreamer’s status or that this executive authorization can be further extended. In fact, DACA has been rescinded and legislation is the only permanent way to prevent these Dreamers from losing work authorization and becoming subject to immediate deportation.” …


  • “Congress needs to pass a bill by January 19th to provide enough time for USCIS to process applications before tens of thousands of DACA recipients are negatively impacted by the loss of their work authorization or removal from the United States. This 45 day timeline – leading into March 5th when the number of DACA recipients losing status skyrockets to an average of 1,200 a day – is very aggressive, but should be seen as an actual best-case deadline based on our collective experience with these administrative and security requirements.” …


  • “Not only is there no reason to delay, but establishing this new program in 45 days would be an incredible accomplishment done in record time. This means Congress must act by the middle of January to ensure a successful program, avoid significant hardship for USCIS, the business community and Dreamers themselves.”

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