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Apr 25, 2018

Latino Legislators Welcome DACA Ruling, Urge DHS to Keep Program

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL), which represents the voices of more than 400 Hispanic state legislators from across the country, US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, today welcomed US District Judge John Bates’ decision giving the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 90 days to provide the legal rationale behind the Administration’s decision to cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This is the third federal judge that rebukes the Administration’s attempt to end DACA but the first to order DHS to accept new applications. It is also the first judge appointed by a Republican president to issue such a ruling, which underscores the bipartisan consensus on the legality of the DACA program. The lawsuit was brought by Princeton University; highlighting the importance of this issue to the nation’s higher education system and economic security.

“They say that the third time is the charm and we hope that the Administration finally listens to both reason and the courts who are all saying that there is no legal justification for cancelling the DACA program. This decision is significant because the judge did not disagree with the Administration’s legal basis, he said that they did not even present any legal basis for their actions. We are also pleased that DACA recipients can once again start applying to renew their permits. Given the stakes of this decision and its impact on hundreds of thousands of young Americans – individuals who are indeed Americans in everything but a piece of paper – we urge the Administration not to terminate the DACA program until Congress passes the DREAM Act and ends the uncertainty facing DREAMers once and for all,” NHCSL President and Senator Carmelo Ríos (PR) said.

NHCSL recently approved an emergency resolution regarding DACA and the DREAMers, during the group’s annual Summit in Chicago, IL in February. The resolution states that: “…the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators urges Congress to take action with no further delay to stop the uncertainty with which thousands of families are living regarding DACA preferably by granting that pathway to citizenship or, at least, by extending DACA while a deal can be reached that creates that pathway…”

NHCSL Task Force Chair on Immigration, Civil & Human Rights Sen. Richard Martínez (NM) said: “NHCSL has consistently fought to end the uncertainty facing these young DACAmented Americans and for a comprehensive immigration reform law that brings the 11 million out of the shadows and into the light, while securing our borders in a smart and effective way without an expensive and unnecessary wall at our southern border. DREAMers are an integral part of this country’s fabric and the last thing we should be doing is pushing our best and brightest to the shadows of our society. These young individuals represent everything that’s right with our nation and we should do everything in our power as policymakers to ensure they have the same shot at pursuing their dreams as any other American.”

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NHCSL is the premier national association of Hispanic state legislators working to design and implement policies and procedures that will improve the quality of life for Hispanics throughout the country. NHCSL was founded in 1989 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)3 with the mission to be the most effective voice for the more than 410 Hispanic legislators. For more information visit www.nhcsl.org.