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 FWD.us, 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, FWD.us
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 FWD.us.