Washington, D.C.-Today, Congressman MacArthur urged House Speaker Paul Ryan to pass legislation this year that creates a permanent legislative solution to the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
MacArthur was joined by 34 House Republicans in this request.
“I’ve always been a strong supporter of the DACA program and voted against eliminating this program during my first term in Congress,” said Congressman Tom MacArthur “Our immigration system is in need of reform, but this process should not start by hurting the most innocent and vulnerable population. I’m urging both parties to come together and find a solution that will protect DACA recipients before the end of the year.”
Full text of letter below:
Dear Speaker Ryan,
We write in support of passing of a permanent legislative solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients before the end of the year. DACA recipients – young people brought to America through no fault of their own – are contributing members of our communities and our economy. For many, this is the only country they have ever known. They are American in every way except their immigration status.
Since DACA’s inception, the federal government has approved approximately 795,000 initial DACA applications and 924,000 renewals. Since being approved for DACA status, an overwhelming majority of these individuals have enrolled in school, found employment, or have served in the military. Studies have shown that passing legislation to permanently protect these individuals would add hundreds of billions to our country’s gross domestic product (GDP). That is why the business community, universities, and civic leaders alike support a permanent legislative solution.
We agree with President Trump that executive action was not the appropriate process for solving this issue, as was done under the previous administration, and we believe Congress should act. We are compelled to act immediately because many DACA recipients are about to lose or have already lost their permits in the wake of the program’s rescission. Not acting is creating understandable uncertainty and anxiety amongst immigrant communities.
While we firmly believe Congress must work to address other issues within our broken immigration system, it is imperative that Republicans and Democrats come together to solve this problem now and not wait until next year. We all agree that our border must be enforced, our national security defended, and our broken immigration system reformed, but in this moment, we must address the urgent matter before us in a balanced approach that does not harm valuable sectors of our economy nor the lives of these hard-working young people. We must pass legislation that protects DACA recipients from deportation and gives them the opportunity to apply for a more secured status in our country as soon as possible. Reaching across the aisle to protect DACA recipients before the holidays is the right thing to do.