Larsen Leads Washington Delegation Letter to House Leadership Advocating for DACA Program

Mar 1, 2018 Issues: Immigration Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) led a letter on February 27th to Senate and House leadership advocating for a long-term solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in Washington state. Reps. Smith (WA-09), DelBene (WA-01), Heck (WA-10), Kilmer (WA-06) and Jayapal (WA-07) also joined the letter. 

Text of the letter can be found here and below:

Dear Speaker Ryan, Minority Leader Pelosi, Majority Leader McConnell, and Minority Leader Schumer:

As the debate on comprehensive immigration reform continues, we wanted to bring your attention to the impact and importance of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in Washington state.

The president has continually advocated for the long-term growth of the U.S. economy. The truth is, ending DACA and stripping the opportunity of citizenship from Dreamers would remove an estimated 685,000 workers who contribute every day to the nation’s economy and result in a loss of $460.3 billion from the national GDP over the next decade.

In Washington state alone, more than 17,800 young people have come forward under DACA, passed background checks, and now live and work legally in the United States. Should DACA end, the cost to Washington state alone would equal nearly $1.1 billion in annual GDP losses.

These young people were brought to the United States as children. While they are not U.S. citizens, many Dreamers have lived their entire lives in the United States and they work hard and contribute to our country. As of last year, 900 DACA recipients are serving in the military. The women and men who serve our country in the military are heroes and deserve better than to fear for their future livelihood. Dreamers are no different than any other young folks who grow up dreaming of an education, serving in the military and continuing to build a life in this country.

As members of the Washington state delegation, we write this letter to ask you to include a permanent solution for the DACA program in any future legislation, so that Dreamers can carry on their contributions to the economy of the United States of America.