3rd Anniversary of DACA Shows Administrative Relief Has Helped the Economy While Keeping Families Together

For Immediate Release: Monday, June 15, 2015Contact: Donna De La Cruz, ddelacruz@communitychange.org, 202.339.9331 Bernardita M. Yunis Varas, byunisvaras@communitychange.org, 202.339.9377

DACA Success Proves Lawsuit Delaying Additional Administrative Relief Must be Dropped

(WASHINGTON)—The third anniversary granting immigrant youth who were brought to the United States as children reprieve from deportation has not only kept families together but has greatly strengthened the economy.

“The success of DACA proves that the lawsuit supported by the Attorneys General and Governors of 26 states is nothing but another ploy by anti-immigrant lawmakers to prevent meaningful comprehensive reform, which is supported by the majority of Americans, from becoming a reality,” said Kica Matos, spokesperson for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM). “The lawsuit delaying the implementation of President Obama’s executive actions announced last fall must immediately be dropped.”

A report by the Center for American Progress estimates that DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals and DAPA (deferred action for parents of Americans and lawful permanent residents) would grow the U.S. economy by $230 billion over the next 10 years. The report states that if undocumented immigrants are allowed to apply for temporary work permits, their chances to earn higher wages increase, they get the opportunity to apply for jobs that better match their skillsets and protects them from workplace exploitation. In turn, those immigrants have more money to spend on everyday goods and services.

“Not only is administrative relief like DACA and DAPA economically sound, they remove the fear of deportation allowing immigrant families to thrive in the country they love and work hard for,” Matos said.

Jessica Martinez, 16, with the FIRM group Make the Road New York, said after years of living in fear of her family being deported, DACA has allowed her to work toward fulfilling her dreams.

“I feel at home now,” Martinez said. “One day I want to study art and graphic design and having DACA gives me hope to get closer to that dream.”

FIRM sees today’s anniversary as a call to keep fighting for relief for all immigrant families, Matos said.

“Our families will continue to fight to have administrative relief implemented,” Matos said. “Our fight will be visible through actions and our might will be felt at the ballot box as we approach a critical election year.”

Last Friday, FIRM leaders and immigrant rights activists came together in New Orleans to deliver a nationwide petition to Attorney General Buddy Caldwell. The petition calls on Attorneys General and Governors of the 26 suing states to drop the lawsuit and #RestoreRelief. That action is a preview to upcoming larger movement-wide actions being planned for July 10 when the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral arguments on the case.