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Councilmember González Joins 1,860 Leaders Declaring “We Are With Dreamers”

Contact:
Dana Robinson Slote, Council Communications, 206-615-0061

SEATTLE – Councilmember M. Lorena Gonzalez (Position 9, Citywide), chair of the Council’s Gender Equity, Safe Communities & New Americans Committee, announced on Wednesday that she joined more than 1,860 leaders in signing onto a new “We Are With Dreamers” statement calling on President Trump to preserve the successful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and for Congress to pass a standalone version of the bipartisan Dream Act.

The popular and successful DACA program has benefited both Washington State and America.  In Washington, DACA has allowed more than 17,800 young people to come forward, pass background checks, and live and work legally in the country.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has renewed protections for DACA recipients nearly 16,300 times.  Ending DACA now would cost Washington State nearly $1.1 billion in annual GDP losses.

“I stand with DREAMers today and always. Our city is best served by continuing to provide these young immigrants the protections currently afforded by DACA,” said Gonzalez.  “We must protect DACA and continue to pressure President Trump and Congressional Republicans to pass the bipartisan Dream Act. Doing so will not only provide important protections and opportunities for almost 18,000 Dreamers in Washington, including Seattle, but will strengthen our economy and society across Washington State and America.”

In addition to Councilmember Gonzalez, governors, state attorneys general, mayors, state legislators, city and county elected officials, and leaders from faith communities, law enforcement, and civic life across America on Wednesday announced their support for the “We Are With Dreamers” effort. For a full list and overview of signatories on the new “We Are With Dreamers” statement, visit WithDreamers.com Below, please find a copy of the “We Are With Dreamers” statement:

“We, the undersigned governors, statewide constitutional officers, mayors, state legislators, local elected officials, businesses, law enforcement professionals, and faith and civic leaders are united in declaring that we are with Dreamers and DACA recipients. We recognize their enormous role in our communities and families and their contributions to our schools, workplaces, and shared prosperity as a nation.

Since June 2012, nearly 800,000 of these young people who came to the United States as children have come forward, passed background checks, and received permission to live and work in America. With DACA, they have advanced their education, started small businesses, and more fully established themselves as integral members of our society.

Ending DACA means all of these young people would be at risk of deportation and separation from their families and our communities; this would be senselessly cruel.

Ending DACA and removing hundreds of thousands of young men and women from our workforce also would cost the country an estimated $460.3 billion in lost Gross Domestic Product over a decade and tens of billions more in lost contributions to Medicare and Social Security, and force businesses to incur $3.4 billion in turnover costs.

In late June, attorneys general from ten states threatened to sue the Trump Administration if it does not end DACA; twice that number wrote to encourage the administration to maintain and defend the initiative. We urge President Trump to sustain his commitment and preserve DACA.  We also encourage President Trump and Republicans and Democrats in Congress to enact legislation that replaces fear and uncertainty with permanent protection for Dreamers. The recently introduced stand-alone Dream Act of 2017 would do that and we support it.

As the leaders of communities across the country—individuals and institutions that have seen these young people grow up in our communities—we recognize how they have enriched and strengthened our cities, states, schools, businesses, congregations, and families. We believe it is a moral imperative that the administration and the country know we are with them. We also join together to send our assurances to Dreamers: we see you, we value you, and we are ready to defend you.”

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