A group of 71 mayors around the nation called on Congress to fast-track immigration protections for "Dreamers," just before the GOP's takeover in the House.
In a letter Tuesday under the banner "Cities for Action," majors warned that court action could soon invalidate the remainder of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
"A potential Supreme Court decision could strip DACA recipients of their work permits, threaten the livelihood of over 1.3 million DACA-eligible individuals, their families and their communities, and place them on a path to deportation," wrote the mayors.
The 71 mayors argue for legislative action based upon moral, economic, and political claims.
"Over the last decade, more than 830,000 of our family members, neighbors, and friends have been protected under DACA. During the COVID pandemic, 343,000 or more than three-quarters of DACA recipients in the workforce were employed in jobs deemed essential by the Department of Homeland Security," wrote the mayors.
"It is estimated that over 2.5 million U.S. citizens live with DACA-eligible people. Ending DACA would have a devastating impact on millions of people including DACA recipients, DACA-eligible individuals, their families, friends, and communities across the country."
Democrats have supported protecting DACA through permanent extensions to work permits and deportation deferrals.
Also, farmers and agricultural labor organizations are pushing for a bill granting citizenship to agricultural workers who have been in the U.S. for more than 10 years.
The House has already passed versions of the DACA and farm workforce bills, putting the onus on the Senate, and with a Republican majority in the House, the mayors want action now.
"From students and nurses to social workers and essential workers who served on the frontlines during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. is where each of these individuals go to school, hold a job, pay their taxes, and live as upstanding members of our society.
"I am joining mayors across the country to urge Congress to act on a permanent solution for our Dreamers. The time is now," said New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
The letter includes two Republican co-signers: Mayors Steve Collier, Ind., and James Brainard, Ind.
The number of those on the DACA program continues to decrease as it only admits people in the U.S. by or before 2007.
A recent ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals put the legality of DACA into question and prevented the federal government from enrolling new applicants. An additional Supreme Court ruling could abruptly end the program, stripping beneficiaries of work permits and put them on track for deportation.
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