Yesterday marked the ninth anniversary of the creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people around the country. Despite surviving nearly a decade thanks to the tireless advocacy of Dreamers, the program remains under imminent threat, and reminds us that only a pathway to citizenship can provide true certainty for DACA recipients, Dreamers, and other undocumented immigrants.
Members of Congress and the Administration took action to commemorate this day, and continue to drive momentum toward a pathway to citizenship, including:
- Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Chair Alex Padilla (D-CA) held a hearing on the Hill to highlight the urgent need for the Senate to take up the American Dream and Promise Act, which passed in the House on a bipartisan vote.
- Vice President Kamala Harris hosted a roundtable with several women who are DACA recipients and TPS holders. During the roundtable, Vice President Harris called on the Senate to pass the American Dream and Promise Act, as well as the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, two bills that would create pathways to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of immigrants and essential workers.
- DHS Secretary Mayorkas penned an oped urging Congress to pass legislation to protect Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants.
- President Biden issued a statement commemorating the anniversary of DACA and urged Congress to act.
As the Administration continues to lean in on working with Congress to provide a pathway to citizenship to Dreamers, TPS holders, essential workers, and other undocumented immigrants, advocacy groups are doubling down to encourage urgent action. And news outlets across the country recognized the anniversary of DACA by covering the invaluable contributions of Dreamers to their families and communities in states like Florida, Utah, Georgia, South Carolina, New York, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, California, and Kansas, among many others. Additionally, faith leaders renewed their calls for action, as did the Coalition for the American Dream, a collection of more than 100 business leaders representing the largest businesses and trade associations across the country.
Momentum continues to build as a new report released yesterday by FWD.us makes clear that providing pathways to citizenship is incredibly popular with Americans of all backgrounds. Other findings in the report show that undocumented immigrants could make an even greater contribution to the U.S economy if they had an opportunity to earn citizenship, and that they are crucial to America’s continued public health and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The time for Congress to act is now: the U.S public supports it, the U.S economy will expand because of it, and simply it is the right thing to do for millions of families across America.