Washington, DC – FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement today on reports indicating that bipartisan efforts to pass protections for DACA recipients were no longer moving forward:
“Given the recent reports and developments, it seems extremely unlikely that Congress will pass protections for DACA recipients and Dreamers into law by the end of this year.
“This is terrible, entirely unacceptable, and devastating — for our entire country, but more acutely for the two million people and their millions of family members who are being failed by this country.
“Here is what everyone needs to remember about the lives at stake:
“There are approximately 600,000 DACA recipients today, and another 400,000 young individuals who are DACA-eligible, but have been barred from applying because of the punitive chaos in the courts. These million people deserve so much more than the United States Congress failing them, repeated attacks in the courts, by hostile attorneys general, and others.
“The average DACA recipient came to this country at the age of six and has lived in the United States for just under a quarter century. DACA has allowed people to do amazing, transformative things in this country, along with the mundane daily tasks that many Americans take for granted. With DACA, beneficiaries are able to obtain higher paying jobs, drive to the grocery store, and pick up their children from school without the fear that a broken tail light could mean deportation. While DACA has provided life-changing protections, it was never meant as a permanent substitute for the pathway to citizenship that Dreamers deserve and that will benefit our entire country.
“DACA remains under urgent, existential threat, and will likely be terminated by the courts in the near future. Congress’ failure means that if DACA ends before legislation is passed, the result will be a new group of approximately 1,000 DACA recipients each and every day losing their jobs and being put at risk of deportation – every day, Monday through Friday – for the next two years. It would be a disaster. We will continue to push through every available avenue to prevent this devastation.
“We want to thank and commend Senators Sinema and Tillis for their serious commitment to trying to find a bipartisan compromise pairing a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and border security that could secure enough votes to be signed into law. This was the closest we have come to passing meaningful legislation of this nature in recent years; to claim otherwise is wrong.
“This effort was the result of the incredible leadership of DACA recipients and Dreamers themselves, along with the support of leaders from across the nation who fought for these policies, which are supported by 75% of the American public.
“All legislation is a compromise, and as an organization that believes that all undocumented immigrants—TPS holders, farmworkers, parents, essential workers, and more—deserve a pathway to citizenship, we fought and hoped to get Dreamers protections during this legislative window. We will continue that fight, but our work will not be done until we build a truly humane and modern immigration system system, and provide a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants.”