Representatives from the nation's leading Latino conservative and progressive organizations held a joint press briefing Thursday calling on Congress to deliver a real and effective bipartisan solution for Dreamers.
More than 10 organizations from across the political spectrum participated in the event, demonstrating the urgency and broad support that exists to provide relief for these young immigrants brought to the country as children. With bipartisan legislative proposals sitting in both the House and Senate, Latino leaders are mobilizing their membership, chapters, affiliates and allies, and urging Congressional leadership to address this critical issue.
Participating organizations included: Hispanic 100, Center for Latino-Jewish Relations, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), Hispanic Leadership Fund, Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), Texas Federation of Hispanic Republicans, The LIBRE Initiative, UnidosUS (formerly NCLR), U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), and Voto Latino.
Organization officials had this to say following the briefing:
"Our organizations may not agree on many issues, but like the American people, our support for a real solution for Dreamers is unified. All our organizations are working to push Congress to deliver a solution. We have activated our membership, our affiliates, our chapters, and our allies, to work with members of Congress here and at home. We are encouraged by bipartisan movement on this issue. The solution is possible, is doable, and is urgent."— Mario Rodriguez, Chair, Hispanic 100
"Relief for Dreamers makes moral, economic and political sense. We will work with those who are serious about delivering a solution, and will call out those seeking to deny this sensible solution to the American people. The time for action is now. Our country is ready to resolve this, and Congress has a real and clear opportunity to deliver."— Clarissa Martinez De Castro, Deputy Vice President, UnidosUS
"The Hispanic Leadership Fund urges all Members of Congress to recognize that punishing kids for a situation outside their control is both misguided and counterproductive to improving the American economy as a whole, especially when those kids have been vetted and are productive members of society"— Mario H. Lopez, President, Hispanic Leadership Fund
The plight of the Dreamers is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It's an American issue. Polling shows that the majority of Democrats and Republicans, and even of Trump supporters, believe Congress should provide relief to Dreamers. There's no reason or need, therefore, for anyone to play politics with this issue. This is a great opportunity for Congress to deliver big for the American people."— Alfonso Aguilar, President, Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles
"Protecting the Dreamers is both a moral and economic obligation. One must consider the adverse effect of failing to protect these young people on the economies of cities and states that they have made their homes, as well as on their families and communities. Relief for Dreamers will provide the protection necessary to allow these young people to continue with their lives as they know it in the United States. Dreamers are an integral part of the Latino community and our nation and we must not let them down."— Hector Sanchez Barba, Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, and Chair of NHLA
"Last month DACA was rescinded, putting in limbo the lives of 800,000 innocent young people who contribute socially and economically to our country, served in our military, and know no other home than the United States of America. It is our responsibility and moral obligation to grant them the protection the federal government promised and to provide them with a pathway to citizenship. We cannot fail them. They are innovators, entrepreneurs, teachers, doctors, first responders, and most of all, Americans. Deporting them would be a cruel injustice and bad economic policy. We urge Congress to act and we specifically ask the leadership to bring this to a vote. It is what the majority of the American people want and the right thing to do. The clock is winding down and we cannot stand by as the lives of these young people are put in jeopardy."— Roger C. Rocha Jr., National President, LULAC
"Silence is not an option. Scripture calls on us to love our neighbor and to welcome the stranger. In this case, these children are our neighbors. Our desire is that congress pass a permanent solution so that these young people, who love our country, will not have their pursuit of the American dream broken again."— Rev. Tony Suarez, Executive Vice President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)
"We are encouraged that so many in Congress have come to recognize what we have long argued—that it is time for a durable solution, enacted into law. And given the timelines of DACA's expiration, it is more important than ever that Congress act to remove this barrier that stands between these Dreamers and their full potential. Together, Latino organizations of diverse thought and policy preference call on Congress to seize the opportunity to debate and adopt a permanent, bipartisan solution."— Daniel Garza, President, The LIBRE Initiative
"As a nation of immigrants, we have a responsibility to support and defend "Dreamers," who arrived to this country as children. These individuals have already become dynamic contributors to our American economy and play an important role in our communities."— Javier Palomarez, President and CEO, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC)
"In 2012, our government made a promise to protect 800,000 brave young people from deportation. We must not allow this promise to be broken. Dreamers represent the very best of America and our country's values. Our society and our economy gain tremendously from their contributions. They pay $2 billion each year in state and local taxes. It is time for Congress to pass relief for DREAMers. This is an issue with support from both sides of the aisle. We must grant Dreamers the permanent solution they deserve."— Natalie Montelongo, National Organizing Director at Voto Latino
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