LOS ANGELES – Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) issued the following statement today, marking the seventh anniversary of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an initiative that allows undocumented youth to live, study and work in the U.S. MALDEF urges the U.S. Senate to adopt the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019. The measure would provide a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders and is crucial to the future of our nation:

“Last weekend marked the seventh anniversary of the announcement of DACA, a historic and hard-fought exercise of presidential discretion, undertaken in the face of inaction by Congress to enact much-needed immigration reform.  Because of court actions to prevent Donald Trump from rescinding DACA, hundreds of thousands of strong, young, immigrant contributors to our economy and society have been able to continue to work with legal protections.

“Just a few weeks ago, the House of Representatives passed the Dream and Promise Act to ensure that DACA recipients, TPS holders, and others like them can continue to improve our country throughout their lives.  The Senate leadership has refused to take up the Act and send legislation supported by the vast majority of Americans to the White House.

“After seven years of DACA, the Senate must act to support our national economy and to affirm our collective humanity.

“With an increasingly desperate president — seeking both to revive his impotent reelection campaign and to deflect attention from his corruption and incompetencies — now threatening mass arrests and deportations, Senate leadership must abandon its ongoing complicity in shameful demagoguery and piteous pandering to the worst impulses in society.  Pass the Dream and Promise Act now!”