More than 500 local and state elected leaders, including 16 governors, 20 attorneys general, and nearly 100 mayors are calling on federal legislators to pass laws that would put immigrants who have had their protections terminated by the Trump administration onto a path to legal status and citizenship. In total, elected leaders from 46 states are part of the effort calling on permanent protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status holders.
“Because of actions taken during the first two years of the Trump administration (and but for preliminary court injunctions that currently provide temporary protection to a subset of these individuals), these members of our communities face an uncertain future which could mean losing their ability to work lawfully, being separated from their families, and ultimately being deported from the place they call home,” they say. “This would be senselessly cruel and also horribly counterproductive to the interests of our communities, our states, and our country.”
Numerous states have taken action to protect and ease the lives of some of these immigrants, which has become all the more important following the administration’s ongoing efforts to end these three programs. Just weeks ago, Arkansas passed two bills that would allow DACA recipients to access nursing licenses and in-state tuition rates at the state’s public universities. The success of the nursing bill in the Republican-led legislature was particularly noteworthy, passing 90-0 in the House and 23-4 in the Senate.
But only Congress can pass the legislation that would grant these families permanent relief and protection from deportation. “It is long past time,” said New Mexico governor and signatory Michelle Lujan Grisham, “to bring an end to the political chaos that has embroiled DREAMers and TPS beneficiaries.”
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