More than 500 elected officials, including state governors, mayors and legislators from 46 states, on Monday called on federal Congress to pass legislation to permanently protect people under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) “dreamers”.
A total of 16 governors, 20 attorneys general, almost 100 mayors, more than 250 state legislators and some 100 local elected officials from 46 states signed an open letter asking for legislative solutions for immigrants residing “in limbo.”
From Monday, whoever wishes, can add his name to the letter, as announced.
“We, the undersigned, are convinced that the time has come for Congress to provide permanent protection and initiate the path to citizenship for the ‘dreamers’ and the beneficiaries of programs such as the TPS,” the text said.
The petition arose “as a result of the decision of the Administration of the President, Donald Trump, to put an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs -whose beneficiaries are known as ‘dreamers’- and TPS”, said in an official statement America’s Voice, a group that promotes the initiative.
“These people and their families play an integral role in our communities, make important contributions in our schools, workplaces and share the prosperity of our nation,” the signatories defended.
The “dreamers” are those undocumented youth who came to the United States. in childhood and benefit from the DACA plan, which could be illegal if the reforms promoted by the government of President Trump, currently blocked by several judicial resolutions, are finally carried out.
Trump has also expressed his intention to withdraw permits to beneficiaries of the TPS program, which was applied to immigrants from conflict zones or victims of natural disasters.
It is estimated that this decision would affect more than one million people, including 700,000 “dreamers” and the 400,000 TPS immigrants, many of whom have been living in the United States for decades and have children born in the country.
Among the signers of the letter are the mayors of the two most populated cities in the country, New York and Los Angeles.
“The city of New York was built, brick by brick, by immigrants like my grandmother who came here with little more than a dream.” The dreamers and other immigrants who come here in search of a better life deserve the same opportunities my family has received” said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
On their account, Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti asked that “Washington stop playing with the lives of millions of our neighbors, teachers, students, workers, service members and businessmen, as it has to send a clear message to our immigrant families: You belong here.”
The people who supported the letter recalled that in addition immigrants under these programs have about 500,000 children who are US citizens and “other hundreds of thousands of relatives who are also citizens.”
Therefore, the Rhode Island Governor and letter signer, Gina Raimondo, said that “the dreamers are from Rhode Island and the TPS holders are from Rhode Island, they are our neighbors, friends and colleagues.For part of the last two years their stay in this country, for many the only home they have known, has been uncertain.”
“It is time for Congress to act,” he said, “and provide permanent protection and a path to citizenship for these outstanding members of our communities.”
“We believe that it is a moral imperative that Republicans and Democrats in Congress work together to enact bipartisan legislation that replaces fear and uncertainty for the permanent protection of these people,” the brief concludes.