Letter to President Donald J. Trump - Defense of DACA Program


By: Gwen Moore, Mark Pocan, Denny Heck, Adam Smith, Pramila Jayapal, Derek Kilmer, Rick Larsen, Suzan DelBene, Peter Welch, Don Beyer, Jr., Donald McEachin, Bobby Scott, Lloyd Doggett II, Filemon Vela, Jr., Marc Veasey, Eddie Johnson, Gene Green, Joaquin Castro, Sheila Jackson Lee, Beto O'Rourke, Vicente Gonzalez, Al Green, Steve Cohen, Jim Cooper, Jim Clyburn, Jim Langevin, David Cicilline, Matt Cartwright, Brendan Boyle, Dwight Evans, Kurt Schrader, Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Tim Ryan, Marcia Fudge, Marcy Kaptur, Louise Slaughter, Paul Tonko, Sean Maloney, Nita Lowey, Eliot Engel, José Serrano, Joe Crowley, Adriano Espaillat, Carolyn Maloney, Jerry Nadler, Yvette Clarke, Hakeem Jeffries, Nydia Velázquez, Grace Meng, Gregory Meeks, Ruben Kihuen, Jacky Rosen, Dina Titus, Ben Lujan, Jr., Michelle Lujan Grisham, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Don Payne, Jr., Bill Pascrell, Jr., Albio Sires, Frank Pallone, Jr., Joshua Gottheimer, Donald Norcross, Annie Kuster, Alma Adams, David Price, Kilili Sablan, Lacy Clay, Jr., Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, Tim Walz, John Conyers, Jr., Debbie Dingell, Sandy Levin, Chellie Pingree, Jamie Raskin, Elijah Cummings, Steny Hoyer, Anthony Brown, John Sarbanes, Bill Keating, Mike Capuano, Seth Moulton, Katherine Clark, Joe Kennedy III, Niki Tsongas, Jim McGovern, Cedric Richmond, John Yarmuth, André Carson, Bill Foster, Brad Schneider, Jan Schakowsky, Danny Davis, Mike Quigley, Luis Gutiérrez, Dan Lipinski, Tulsi Gabbard, Colleen Hanabusa, Sanford Bishop, Jr., Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Alcee Hastings, Sr., Kathy Castor, Charlie Crist, Jr., Val Demings, Darren Soto, Stephanie Murphy, Eleanor Norton, Rosa DeLauro, Joe Courtney, John Larson, Ed Perlmutter, Jared Polis, Diana DeGette, Susan Davis, Scott Peters, Juan Vargas, Alan Lowenthal, Lou Correa, Nanette Barragán, Mark Takano, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Linda Sánchez, Karen Bass, Norma Torres, Jimmy Gomez, Ted Lieu, Grace Napolitano, Pete Aguilar, Brad Sherman, Tony Cárdenas, Adam Schiff, Judy Chu, Julia Brownley, Salud Carbajal, Jimmy Panetta, Zoe Lofgren, Anna Eshoo, Ro Khanna, Jim Costa, Eric Swalwell, Jackie Speier, Barbara Lee, Nancy Pelosi, Mark DeSaulnier, Jerry McNerney, Ami Bera, Doris Matsui, Mike Thompson, Jared Huffman, Ruben Gallego, Tom O'Halleran, Raul Grijalva
Date: Aug. 1, 2017
Location: Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President:

We respectfully request that you continue Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and engage in a vigorous legal defense of DACA in light of the renewed threat of litigation. Along with continuing to accept requests for DACA, we ask that you direct your administration to: (a) oppose any efforts to challenge DACA in the ongoing Texas v. United States litigation;' (b) ask the court to dismiss the complaint in United States v. Texas; and (c) refuse any settlement that would end DACA.

On June 29, the Texas Attorney General, along with nine other attorney generals, in an attempt to usurp your authority, delivered to you an ultimatum threatening a legal challenge to DACA unless you ended the program by September 5, 2017. DOJ has already made problematic decisions in choosing not to oppose Texas' request to stay the proceedings.2 We are further disturbed by Secretary Kelly's comments that he does not believe DACA is legally or constitutionally defensible.3 Finally, we are concerned that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has historically opposed DACA, is now trying to abrogate your authority and set the Administration's immigration policies, when, ultimately, you hold that authority. You have stated, you "understand the situation very well" and that the future of DACA is "a decision that [you] make," not your subordinates.4 Furthermore, as you are aware, there is substantial legal support for the constitutionality of DACA.5 We commend your Administration's continuation of DACA and encourage you to keep DACA in place until Congress enacts a permanent legislative solution for this population.

As you know, over 787,000 individuals currently possess a grant of DACA, all of whom were thoroughly vetted for national security and criminal backgrounds.6 Ending DACA would increase the nation's undocumented population, profoundly and negatively impact our nation's economy, contracting the nation's GDP by $ 460.3 billion. 7Additionally, this reduces federal tax contributions to Social Security and Medicare by $24.6 billion over a decade, and costs businesses $3.4 billion in unnecessary turnover costs.8

Ultimately, you set the government's immigration policy, including your Administration's position in regards to DACA. We urge you to respond to Texas's threat to your executive authority by directing the Attorney General to use all legal options to defend DACA and ensure that nearly one million DREAMers continue to contribute to our nation.

Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to your response.