OLYMPIA - Gov. Jay Inslee and 10 other governors sent a letter to congressional leaders today urging them to take immediate action to protect young people threatened with deportation following President Donald Trump's decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The letter urges Congress to recognize the contributions that nearly 800,000 DACA recipients make to state economies and communities, and urges leaders to pass legislation preventing the Trump administration from deporting them. The full text of the letter is below:
September 7, 2017
Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker Ryan, and Minority Leader Pelosi:
We urge you to take immediate action and pass legislation that will provide an opportunity for young adults who are subject to the policy directive issued by President Obama on June 2012; the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), to remain in the United States before the program fully expires on March 5, 2018.
The action President Trump has taken to rescind the DACA program is not an answer to our nation's ongoing need for permanent and comprehensive immigration reform. The nearly 800,000 DACA-recipients, who are currently working in the United States or attending a university or college, should not be penalized for the gridlock in Washington that has blocked real solutions from moving forward. They are hard-working individuals who are contributing to their communities, paying taxes, and in, in many cases, even serving in the U.S. military.
Rescinding DACA will not only put these young people in limbo, it will also harm businesses in our states who have hired, trained and invested in them.
DACA recipients must reapply every two years, and must show that they have not been convicted of a felony, certain significant misdemeanors, or three or more misdemeanors of any kind. They must pass background and fingerprint checks, and pay a fee of $495. If approved, they are given work permits to be able to sustain themselves and in many cases their families without fear of deportation. They are not violent criminals but instead hard working young people, who were brought to the United States as young children.
We are a nation of laws, but we are also a nation of immigrants, compassion and common sense. We strongly urge you to work together to take immediate action to ensure that these young people can continue to live, work and contribute to the country they have called home for most of their lives.
Governor Terry McAuliffe
Governor John Carney Jr.
Governor John Hickenlooper
Governor Jay Inslee
Governor Mark Dayton
Governor Gina Raimondo
Governor Dannel Malloy
Governor Roy Cooper
Governor Kate Brown
Governor David Ige
Governor Steve Bullock