Sen. Luz Escamilla, Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Rep. Angela Romero, & Rep. Mark Wheatley released the following open letter to Utah’s Congressional Delegation calling for immediate action to protect Americans in the DACA program:
An Open Letter to Utah’s Congressional Delegation
Senator Orrin Hatch
Senator Mike Lee
Representative Rob Bishop
Representative Mia Love
Representative Chris Stewart
We call upon you, as elected federal representatives of this state, to take immediate action and protect the hundreds of thousands of Americans who are enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). These young men and women — known as Dreamers — were brought to this country as children. Many of them know no other home but this country. They grew up here, they’ve gone to school here, many have served our nation in the military, and they deserve a chance to build lives in this great nation; to do what so many immigrants have done throughout our history: to make America even greater.
Before taking office, President Trump said that Dreamers should not worry and that he would deal with DACA with a “big heart.” As recently as this past Friday, when asked if Dreamers should be worried, he said, “We love the Dreamers. We love everybody…we think the DREAMERs are terrific.” Yet, we now know that he has decided to terminate DACA. If this is how he treats Americans he thinks are “terrific,” we’d hate to see how he treats Americans he dislikes.
Ending DACA will send back to the shadows close to one million exemplary individuals who trusted the government, played by the rules, pay their taxes and contribute to our society. The President’s cruel and irresponsible actions will sow chaos in our communities, on college campuses, in workplaces, and, most of all, in the homes of Dreamers who are Americans in every way but a piece of paper.
We remind you that these Americans will lose their legal right to work and go to school the moment DACA ends, and they will be at immediate risk for deportation. The impact on the nation’s economy would be staggering, with a loss of $460.3 billion from the national GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions.
We add our voices to those of business leaders and elected officials from across the nation and across party lines to call upon you to show leadership where the President has failed to do so. Congress must pass either the bipartisan DREAM Act, the BRIDGE Act (H. R. 496), or similar legislation that provides these young people raised in this country the permanent protection and stability that they deserve. We strongly implore you to sign on as co-sponsors and assure that this legislation passes with all due haste.
Senator Luz Escamilla
Representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck
Representative Angela Romero
Representative Mark Wheatley