Larsen: Republican Message to Young Immigrants: Talk to the Hand

Aug 1, 2014

WASHINGTON—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, voted against a bill (H.R. 5272) today that would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects DREAMers—young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and have lived by the law while here—from deportation.

“My vote against this bill is a vote in favor of the real solution: comprehensive immigration reform. Immigration is a complex problem that requires a comprehensive solution.

“Republicans’ message today to young immigrants is talk to the hand: you are not welcome to contribute your talents and ideas here. This proposal derails the lives young immigrants are building here, turning the American Dream into the American nightmare.

“This bill shuns young immigrants and wipes out gains our country has made for immigrants claiming protection under the Violence Against Women Act. No longer would immigrant women trying to escape abuse be allowed to get jobs while their cases are in process.

“I have long supported helping DREAMers succeed in our country. Young people who are pursuing higher education or military service are contributing to our economy and our society and should be allowed to stay. In light of the House of Representatives’ inaction on this issue, I also asked the President earlier this year to consider expanding immigration enforcement guidelines to consider whether undocumented immigrants have close family members in the U.S. who are citizens, legal permanent residents, or DREAMers. I support steps within the confines of the law that focus resources on those who pose a threat to public safety, not separating families.

“We are a nation of immigrants, and no matter where in the world we got our start, we all are looking for similar things: a good education, a safe place for our families, opportunity and work. The future of our economy depends on a pro-growth, efficient and fair immigration system. Now is the time to allow a vote on comprehensive immigration reform to create clear, legal pathways to legal residency for those who wish to come here and contribute to our nation,” Larsen said.

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