Washington, D.C. — In response to a recently issued memo by the Trump administration—which blocks more than 300,000 Dreamers from filing new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications and slashes protections for existing DACA recipients—Arizona leaders called on Congress today to pass H.R. 6, or the American Dream and Promise Act, during a press call organized by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
There are currently 23,990 DACA recipients who call Arizona home and 54,900 individuals in the state who live in households with DACA beneficiaries, including 10,400 U.S.-citizen children who have a parent protected under DACA. Annually, DACA recipients and their households in the state of Arizona pay $250 million in taxes. They also pay $21 million in annual mortgage payments and $56.7 million in rent payments each year. Passing H.R. 6 would provide permanent protections for 2.1 million Dreamers, including 63,400 in Arizona alone.
During the discussion, Tom Jawetz, vice president of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, said:
This administration cannot be trusted for one minute longer with the future of DACA recipients and their families. Congress right now has the opportunity to pass H.R. 6, which will provide permanent protections to Dreamers as well as Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders and extend protections and work authorization for DACA recipients through the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. The time for Congress to act is now.
Mayor Regina Romero (D) of Tucson, Arizona:
We are seeing hate and—let’s call it as it is—racism coming directly from the president of the United States of America and this administration. DACA recipients and immigrant youth clearly won at the Supreme Court, yet the Trump administration is once again putting the lives of DACA recipients and their families in jeopardy. This is part of the administration’s broader anti-immigrant agenda. Trump is choosing to increase fear and uncertainty in the lives of DACA recipients and their families. I’m urging Congress to pass H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act. We are such a better country with diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Steven Erickson, vice president of External Affairs at Teach for America Phoenix:
We aim to create and expand equal opportunities in education. Since 2013, Teach for America has recruited, trained, and supported nearly 300 DACA recipients to teach and lead in our nation’s classrooms. The contributions these individuals have made to Teach for America’s mission and, most importantly, to the students and families they serve across the communities we work in, is immeasurable and invaluable. They, along with the nearly 15,000 DACAmented educators across our country, have led with courage and resilience. It’s made our schools better and our communities stronger.
José Patiño, DACA recipient and education and policy director at Aliento Arizona:
Our immigrant community has suffered a lot of trauma due to current immigration policies. Our goal here at Aliento is to change these policies so that Arizona immigrant youth have access to opportunities to improve their lives and the lives of their families, including access to scholarships. I want the 300,000 people who are now barred from applying for DACA to have the same privileges that I have enjoyed: having a Social Security number and a driver’s license so that I can drive without the fear of getting pulled over and deported. For the past 3 1/2 years, the president has attacked immigrants but has yet to offer a solution of his own. It just seems like he is just going to attack and attack, and the fact that he has so much power over immigration is frustrating.
Héctor Sánchez Barba, executive director and CEO of Mi Familia Vota:
Dreamers are an inspiration of what a fight should be for a better and more inclusive democracy. Putting everything on the line, undocumented and unafraid. Dreamers have played a unique role leading the fight in the different states where we are.
Eduardo Sainz, Arizona state director at Mi Familia Vota:
Before DACA, I used to work in construction because I was undocumented. My trajectory since then has been building political power—ensuring that every single person who can register is registered to vote, making sure that Latinos are registered to vote.
“What We Know About the Demographic and Economic Impacts of DACA Recipients: Spring 2020 Edition
A National and State-by-State Look” by Nicole Prchal Svajlenka and Phil Wolgin
“A Demographic Profile of DACA Recipients on the Frontlines of the Coronavirus Response” by Nicole Prchal Svajlenka
“Resources on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” by CAP’s Immigration team
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Claudia Montecinos at email@example.com.