The Green Party of Kansas City, MO joined activist groups from across the state and signed onto a letter for the Missouri congressional delegation to pass the Dream Act this year and in support of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).
See full letter below:
Dear Senator McCaskill, Senator Blunt, and Representatives Clay, Wagner, Luetkemeyer, Hartzler, Cleaver, Graves, Long, and Smith:
The undersigned organizations and individuals are writing to ask that you support a vote on the Dream Act in the January spending bill. We are deeply troubled by the uncertain future of nearly 800,000 young immigrant DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers, who are already losing their legal status and need a legislative fix now. In Missouri, more than 3,500 individuals will lose their DACA status and related protections if Congress doesn’t act.
On average, Dreamers arrived in this country at the age of 6 years old and and know no other home than America. The DACA program has given immigrant youth the opportunity to come out of the shadows, work, and attend college. DACA recipients are studying to be teachers, doctors, and scientists. They are working to support themselves and their families, paying taxes, and contributing to their communities in a myriad of ways. In the absence of congressional action providing a permanent solution for Dreamers, the termination of DACA puts these young people and their families in peril and will destabilize schools, workplaces, and communities in our state.
Already, 22,000 Dreamers with DACA will lose their status and be susceptible to deportation by March 5, 2018 because they were unable to meet an October 5, 2017 deadline to renew due to improperly rejected applications and mail delays. By the end of January, nearly 18,000 individuals across the country will have already lost their DACA status and will be undocumented and subject to deportation. On March 5, 2018, the remainder of the almost 800,000 Dreamers will also begin to lose their DACA status and will no longer be able to renew their work permits.
Studies have estimated that ending DACA will result in a loss of $460 billion from our nation’s GDP over the next decade. In Missouri, ending DACA will cost the state more than $209 million in annual GDP losses. Conversely, allowing immigrant youth to continue to participate in the economy will add $329 billion to the U.S. economy and create 1.4 million new jobs by 2030, demonstrating the potential to boost economic growth and improve our nation’s fiscal health. Missouri alone would see annual state GDP gains between $71,642,000 and $238,806,000 from passage of the Dream Act.
We stand with the immigrant youth in Missouri and ask for your support in passing the bipartisan Dream Act this year.
The Green Party of Kansas City, MO (**and several other organizations. To be published when final list is received.)
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Data Set: Form I-821D Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Published December 7, 2017 <https://www.uscis.gov/tools/reports-studies/immigration-forms-data/data-set-form-i-821d-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals>
Wong, Tom K. et al. 2017 National DACA Study. August 2017. <https://cdn.americanprogress.org/content/uploads/2017/11/02125251/2017_DACA_study_economic_report_updated.pdf>
Jawetz, Tom and Svajlenka, Nicole Prchal. Thousands of DACA Recipients Are Already Losing Their Protection from Deportation. November 9, 2017. <https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2017/11/09/442502/thousands-daca-recipients-already-losing-protection-deportation/>
Jawetz, Tom, Svajlenka, Nicole Prchal and Bautista-Chavez, Angie. A New Threat to DACA Could Cost States Billions of Dollars. July 21, 2017. <https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2017/07/21/436419/new-threat-daca-cost-states-billions-dollars/>
Edwards, Ryan D., Ortega, Francesc, Wolgin, Philip E. The State-by-State Economic Benefits of Passing the Dream Act. October 26, 2017. <https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2017/10/26/441298/the-state-by-state-economic-benefits-of-passing-the-dream-act/>