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Bloomington Mayor Signs "We Are With Dreamers" Letter
Updated August 31, 2017 3:13 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton has signed the "We Are With Dreamers" letter in a show of solidarity with other elected officials who support Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Implemented by the Obama administration, DACA provides eligible immigrant children with both deportation protection and a work permit.

Often referred to as "DREAMers," eligible participants include undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. The DACA program offers two years of amnesty before expiring and is subject to renewal. Since June 2012, nearly 800,000 children and young people have participated in the DACA program. Self-funded through application fees, the DACA program contributes to the nation's economy through an 87-percent employment rate among its recipients, contributing an average of 15.3 percent of their wages to taxes.

Hamilton commented, "I am proud to join other elected officials in supporting DACA. In Bloomington, we value everyone who chooses to call this home and pursue a future that contributes to the well being of our city,state and nation."

Now in the hands of the Trump administration, the future of the DACA program is unclear as are the futures of the program's eligible participants. The 800,000 current DACA recipients face potential deportation, and future candidates may never have the protection nor opportunities offered by DACA.

DACA's future is in further jeopardy because of ten Republicans state officials who are threatening to sue the Trump administration should it fail to stop renewing and granting DACA applications before September 5. Led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the opponents of DACA include attorney generals from nine states and one governor are using similar legal arguments as those used in December 2014 when 26 states successfully prevented the expansion of DACA. A preliminary injunction by a Texas judge made its way through the legal system before being heard by the Supreme Court in 2015 when the court had a vacant seat. The presiding eight judges' deadlocked 4-4 vote failed to set precedence, leaving the original injunction in place.

In a similar show of solidarity with DACA, Indiana University's President McRobbie joined over 600 college and university presidents and chancellors who signed a Statement in Support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and our Undocumented Immigrant Students in November 2016.

The "We Are With Dreamers" Letter
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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