Luján Calls On Congress To Pass DACA And DREAMers Legislation


Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján,(D-NM), U.S. House of Representatives




Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Assistant Speaker and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Member Ben Ray Luján (D-NM-03), joined plaintiffs in the upcoming DACA case before the U.S. Supreme Court, and immigration advocates to call on Congress to pass legislation that would offer permanent protection from deportation for Dreamers.

Approximately 700,000 DACA recipients are currently living in limbo ahead of November 12, 2019, when the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on whether the Trump administration’s September 5, 2017, termination of the DACA program was unlawful.

Over the last two years, an extended legal battle has kept DACA renewals open for young immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, and the program has been tremendously successful, benefiting Dreamers and their families while also strengthening communities across the country, and the entire American economy.

“On September 5, 2017, President Trump repealed DACA. This cruel decision put hundreds of thousands of Dreamers in limbo; they faced losing their work permits and being deported to countries they barely remember. And now President Trump has appealed to the Supreme Court, which will hear this case on November 12, 2019, less than one month from now. Thankfully, the House of Representatives responded to President Trump by passing the American Dream and Promise Act on a bipartisan vote,” said Senator Durbin. “It would be an American tragedy to deport these young people back to countries they barely remember. The Senate should immediately take up the American Dream and Promise Act and send this bipartisan legislation to the President’s desk.”

“For well over two years now, thousands of young people in my home state and even more across the country have been living in a cruel and hellish limbo,” said Senator Wyden. “These DREAMers have done nothing wrong, on the contrary, they have worked hard, played by the rules and contributed to our success as a nation. They simply want to get on a pathway to citizenship in the only country they call and know as home – a path that was promised to them. Senator McConnell should show some integrity and allow Congress to make good on that promise.” 

“Donald Trump’s efforts to end the DACA program is part of his all-out assault on immigrants in our country. His actions have put nearly 800,000 Dreamers — including 600 in Hawaii – at risk of deportation,” said Senator Hirono. “Dreamers have been fighting so hard for so long to secure their future in the only country they’ve ever known. The least we can do is live up to the promise we’ve made to them. While I hope the Supreme Court will uphold the rule of law , we can’t count on them to do the right thing. It’s why I’m calling on the Senate to take up and pass the American Dream and Promise Act as soon as possible.”

“Our Dreamers are some of our nation’s brightest, and we must continue to fight to protect them,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m grateful for organizations in Nevada and nationwide who are working tirelessly to assist Dreamers through the DACA renewal process. If this Administration has its way, hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients could see their dreams shattered. Dreamers are our future and we simply cannot and must not let that happen.”

“When President Trump made the cruel decision to end DACA, he threw the lives of DREAMers and their families into chaos. I was proud to stand with my colleagues and immigration advocates to call on the Republican Senate to immediately pass the Dream and Promise Act for the good of our communities,” said Assistant Speaker Luján.   

“I would not be where I am today if it was not for DACA, this program has opened academic doors that I had no idea were available, ” said DACA plaintiff Dellara Gorjian. “I worked full time at a law firm before pursuing a career in law. DACA is the only way I can continue to go to school and work in the United States, the place that has been my home for the last 20 years, the place in which I have spent sleepless nights studying its very legal system.”

“Through the help and support of my community, I have been able to keep pursuing my education and goal to become a PhD in clinical psychology,” said DACA plaintiff Norma Ramirez. “And as a mental health professional, I know the kinds of effects that toxic stress can have on our community, primarily, as a result of the constant uncertainty that we face every day. Therefore, in order to improve the mental health of our community, we need to make sure that we provide as much certainty and protection as possible.”

“I was the first in my family to graduate college and become the teacher I am today, and with these opportunities, I have been able to give back to my community,” said DACA plaintiff Miriam Gonzalez Avila. “I want to be able to teach my students without the fear of being separated from them.”


You may watch the event here.