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June 15, 2021

Rep. Kirkpatrick Statement on the 9th Anniversary of DACA

(Tucson, AZ) Rep. Kirkpatrick released the following statement to mark the ninth anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative, established by President Obama on June 15, 2012:

“Today we celebrate the resilience and hope of immigrant youth who fought for and won the DACA program and continue to protect it from Republican attacks. Our DREAMers deserve better,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick.  “I believe we must pass citizenship for them and millions more through the next reconciliation package. We must be bold in this fight.”

DACA has been critical in providing temporary relief from the threat of deportation and has survived because of the strength, power and resilience of immigrant communities. But DACA remains the floor, not the ceiling, when it comes to protecting immigrant communities.

Immigrants need permanent protections. DACA recipients and DACA-eligible youth have been living from court decision to court decision since Trump’s first attempts in 2017 to end DACA. 

Today,  the Senate Judiciary committee will have a hearing on the American Dream and Promise Act, which passed with bipartisan support in March in the House, and would put over 4 million immigrant youth and TPS holders on a path to citizenship. 

Earlier this year, Rep. Kirkpatrick introduced the American Dream Employment Act of 2021. Under current law, paid employment in the House and Senate is limited to individuals who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents in the process of naturalizing. As a result, DREAMers — undocumented people brought to this country as young children — are currently barred from working for Congressional offices. The American Dream Employment Act of 2021 also establishes permanent employment eligibility in the House and Senate for TPS and DED recipients. The American Dream Employment Act is supported by 57 of Congresswoman Kirkpatrick’s colleagues in the House.

“In Arizona and across the country, these individuals are vital members of our communities and make valuable contributions to our nation. They deserve an equal shot of being employed in Congress,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick. “We have been saying for a while now that we urgently need to fix our immigration system. This change in policy is one step in a series of steps we must take. DREAMers are Americans and they should be able to have a voice in the legislative process, which impacts their lives and communities.”

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