Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today released the following statement after President Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has provided certainty for children brought to the United States by their parents -- called Dreamers:
"The President's actions today are cruel, heartless and do nothing to secure our borders or fix our immigration system. Everyone I talk to, from farmers and business owners to families and border patrol agents, agrees we are long overdue for comprehensive immigration reform," DelBene said. "I believe it is both a moral and economic imperative to fix the nation's broken immigration system in a bipartisan way so that it works for families and our economy. Punishing young people who are in the United States by no fault of their own is not the way to do that. Congress must come together to enact comprehensive reform in a responsible and compassionate way."
"Nearly 800,000 children brought to this country by their parents have known no other home than the United States. DACA has given these young people certainty, allowing them to study, work and contribute to our communities. Rescinding DACA puts immigrant youth at risk of deportation to countries they may not even remember. We should be supporting, not deporting these young people who simply want to pursue their dreams right here in the country they call home."
Washington state is home to more than 17,800 DACA recipients, of which more than 15,500 are working and contributing to our economy. According to the Center for American Progress, ending DACA would remove at least $460.3 billion from the U.S. GDP during the next 10 years -- and more than $1 billion in Washington state.
DelBene helped introduce the American Hope Act, which would provide Dreamers with a conditional pathway to citizenship. And as a former member of the House Judiciary Committee, DelBene led efforts to enact comprehensive immigration reform by helping introduce the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act (H.R. 15) in the 113th Congress.