ATLANTA, GA – Congressman Hank Johnson (D, GA-4), State Representative Pedro Marin, FWD.us, the Latin American Association and the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce joined local area Dreamers today for a press conference on the urgent threat to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
With DACA facing the imminent threat of repeal, today’s event focused on the importance of Dreamers and the many ways they contribute to social and economic well-being of the United States. State Representative Pedro Marin affirmed his support for the 24,000 DACA recipients in Georgia and Congressman Hank Johnson promised to bring this issue back to Congress and push for a legislative solution. They were joined by a local Dreamer who shared the transformative impact DACA has had on his life. Most Dreamers are students pursuing their education, or they are engineers, teachers, entrepreneurs, healthcare workers and other professions across the spectrum who support this country.
Members and leaders of the business community reiterated the value Dreamers bring to their work. Losing 24,000 individuals from the workforce would present a substantial economic hardship for businesses throughout the state. Eliminating DACA would take 800,000 people out of the national workforce and would cost the United States $460 billion in national GDP over the next decade, and Georgia would lose an enormous $66 million.
“Dreamers are our friends, our neighbors, our soldiers, new homeowners, entrepreneurs, and students. I urge the entire Georgia delegation and my Republican colleagues in Congress to support our DACA constituents, and pass legislation that protects these brave young people who know no other home and are fighting for our country in the Armed Forces. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said: ‘the time is always right to do the right thing.’ President Trump, do the right thing and protect our DACA youth.” —Congressman Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr., GA-04
“Today, thousands of dreamers are working in various industries, paying taxes, attending college and contributing to our society. Upending this program would have devastating effects for our communities and economy.” —Georgia State Representative Pedro Marin
“I am proud to have DACA recipients on my staff here in the halls of the capitol. They are here because of their love of state, their love of communities. These are brave kids with a tremendous work ethic, you’ve met them and you’ve worked with them. All we ask is that you stand with them, give them a chance and a way forward.” —State Representative Brenda Lopez
“When DACA was introduced it was prayer that was answered from the sky not just for me, but for the thousand of Dreamers across the country. It allowed me to come out of the shadows, get a driver’s license, get a job and to show people that we are here to make this country great. We will continue to fight for Dreamers. Our voices will be heard, no matter what part of the country we live in. Our voices will travel through the Great Plains. Our voices will travel from the coast. Our voices will travel through the prairies. They will travel through the halls of Congress, and, finally they will make it into the Oval Office, and we will not rest until we have a DREAM Act that brings us a peace of mind.” —Jaime Rangel, Dreamer and student at Dalton State University
“Dreamers are hardworking and resilient members of our society. Their success and their ability to contribute to this country benefits all Americans, including the many millions of U.S. citizens who work and live with them. I urge members of Congress to pass the DREAM Act and secure the futures of these young people. The DACA program has provided hope for almost 800,000 individuals and the moral consequences that come with deporting Dreamers would be profound,” —Charles Kuck, Kuck Immigration Partners
“The lifeline of families and our community’s youth are in peril. Our business community needs to start speaking out on behalf of your employees and communities. Our businesses are going to suffer, removal of DACA will be felt at the state and national level and all of our bottom lines. Economically, this would be devastating. We have to come together as a business community and say that we won’t let the door be shut on our Dreamers,” —Antonio Molina, business owner and Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board Member
“If DACA is rescinded, people will lose the ability to contribute. We encourage you to reach out to elected officials and ask them to do the right thing and support the DREAM Act.” —David Schaefer, Latin American Association
“We are thankful to Congressman Johnson for his commitment to supporting Dreamers and ensuring that they continue to live, work and study in the country they call home. Since its inception five years ago, the DACA program has proven to be an incredible success, allowing 800,000 hardworking young people to legally work and add billions to the U.S. economy. In Georgia, 24,000 Dreamers contribute to their communities as teachers, healthcare workers, engineers and retail workers. The consequences of ripping these hardworking young people away from Georgia’s workforce would be absolutely devastating, both economically and morally.” —FWD.us President Todd Schulte