Central Falls Mayor James Diossa joined 100 mayors and county officials from 35 states in delivering a letter today to President Trump calling on him to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program until a legislative solution is enacted for all undocumented immigrant youth, otherwise referred to as Dreamers. Under DACA, nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children received work permits and deferral from deportation.
The Hill highlighted the municipal effort to save DACA today:
Cities for Action — a coalition of counties and cities representing more than 55 million residents — asked Trump in the letter to defend the program against the challenge.
Neither the White House nor the Justice Department have said whether the administration will defend the program if Paxton follows through on his threat.
In their letter, the coalition touted the economic benefits of the program and the importance of integrating recipients of DACA into the nation.
“You have singular power and influence to shape this moment in American history, and ‘show great heart’ — as well as pragmatism and economic sense — in your decision about how to protect our young, undocumented immigrants who have relied on the U.S. government’s word for security and stability,” read the letter to Trump.
Cities like Central Falls have embraced the DACA program, and DACA has in turn provided thousands of residents with the opportunity to pursue higher education, career goals, and give back to the country they call home. Cities and counties have supported DACA applicants and recipients through investments in legal services, outreach efforts to eligible youth, and easing access to school records and public documents for prospective applicants. These contributions have helped nearly 800,000 individuals obtain DACA and give back to their communities:
- DACA recipients serve our localities in all kinds of critical roles—including medical professionals, teachers, and even municipal employees.
- 1.3 million young undocumented immigrants enrolled or immediately eligible for DACA contribute an estimated $2 billion a year in state and local taxes.
- This includes personal income, property, and sales and excise taxes. DACA-eligible individuals pay on average 8.9 percent of their income in state and local taxes.
The mayors who have signed on to today's letter to the President are part of Cities for Action, a coalition of over 150 cities and counties, representing over 55 million residents, leading on immigration action through federal advocacy and local programs.
See here for the full text of the letter: