Chairman Crowley Hosts Roundtable with Immigrant-Rights Groups

Jan 3, 2018 Issues: In the Community
Chairman Crowley Hosts Roundtable with Immigrant-Rights Groups

(Queens, N.Y.) – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) held a roundtable on Tuesday with representatives from leading immigrant-rights groups to discuss the urgent need for Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act.

More than 100 DREAMers face deportation every day that Congress fails to protect these young people. If President Trump and congressional Republicans refuse to act, the U.S. economy will see a $460.3 billion loss in GDP over the next decade. In New York, 41,000 individuals are at risk of being ripped from their schools, families, and communities.

Participants in the roundtable included Bitta Mostofi, the Acting Commissioner for the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Jessica Orozco Guttlein, the Assistant Vice President for Policy at the Hispanic Federation, Anu Joshi, the Director of Immigration Policy with the New York Immigration Coalition, Stephanie Delia, a staff attorney with CUNY Citizenship Now, Tony Alarcon, an Immigration Youth Organizer for Make the Road NY, Walter Barrientos, the Long Island Organizing Director for the Make the Road NY and representatives from Queens Borough President Melinda Katz’s and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s offices.

“President Trump created a crisis for the DREAMers when he ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program last fall. It is inexcusable that Republicans in Congress have not allowed a vote on the DREAM Act, which has broad bipartisan support, to provide security to these young men and women who are Americans in their hearts and minds,” said Congressman Crowley. “I deeply appreciated meeting with these leading activists to discuss how we can all further protect the DREAMers in Queens, the Bronx, and across the country.”

Crowley voted against the short-term government funding bill that passed Congress in December because it did not include a legislative fix for DREAMers. He’s been a leading voice in Congress fighting for security for DREAMers and protecting immigrant’s rights. 

“DACA recipients are our families' children, our co-workers' children, our neighbors’ children. They are as American as my children, and want to be law-abiding citizens in the one country they know,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “We are a nation of immigrants, built on the backs of immigrants’ labor, and their future is indivisible from anyone’s future. Congress must pass clean legislation that will protect DREAMers from unjust deportations and allow them to live and continue being a source of strength in our communities.”

“I support Congressman Crowley's efforts to pass a clean DREAM Act in Washington and to protect families from being torn apart. DACA has strong support on both sides of the aisle, and it is time that it was brought to a vote,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“In the city that never sleeps, we will not rest until DREAMers are protected,” said Bitta Mostofi, Acting Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “We have a responsibility to the 30,000 DREAMers in this city to make the Dream Act a reality. There could be no more appropriate place than Queens, the most diverse area in the nation, for Congressman Crowley to convene this timely discussion. In the days ahead, we will do whatever it takes to keep Dreamers – first responders, teachers, nurses, and students – here in New York where they belong.”

“We thank Congressman Crowley for his leadership in bringing immigration advocates together for an open and meaningful dialogue to share strategy on passing a clean Dream Act,” said Jessica Orozco Guttlein, Assistant Vice President for Policy for Hispanic Federation. “Dreamers contribute significantly to America’s economy, culture, and society. They deserve long-term certainty for their future in the United States, instead of being treated as political pawns in pushing forward President Trump’s agenda. Now is the time for Congress to fulfil its promise to Dreamers and provide them with legal status and a path to citizenship.”

“Thank you, Congress Member Crowley, for standing up for DREAMers at this critical time and fighting for opportunity and justice for all. Congress cannot continue to horse trade with people’s lives. We need a clean DREAM Act that honors the contributions of thousands of young people who’ve made their lives here, rather than senselessly leaving them in fear and in limbo. We will continue the fight to include a DREAM Act in the budget because America will not be greater or safer by undermining our immigrant communities,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

“CUNY Citizenship Now! was pleased to participate in Congressman Crowley’s DACA roundtable. We appreciate the Congressman’s support for a path to legal status for undocumented youth and remain committed to provide free, high quality legal assistance to applicants,” said Citizenship Now! Director Allan Wernick, Esq.

“We thank Rep. Joseph Crowley for meeting with immigrant advocates yesterday,” said Javier H. Valdés, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road NY. “We urge him and the leadership in the House of Representatives to pass a clean DREAM Act that would help safeguard the future of immigrant youth and their families. We ask that this January a CR does not pass without the inclusion of the DREAM Act.”