(Jan. 19) – Speaker Crisanta Duran, Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman and the seven other members of the Latino Democratic Caucus issued a letter this morning to President-elect Donald Trump asking that he declare Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients will be allowed to remain in the U.S. under his administration.

“We are simply asking that the president-elect put an end to the fear and uncertainty of the 742,000 men, women and children, and the millions of our fellow Americans that know them as our friends, neighbors, family members and coworkers,” stated Speaker Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, the first Latina Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives. “We are talking about keeping families—children and mothers and fathers—together. This is their home and they are a part of us.”

“Hard-working Coloradans, from the Front Range to the San Luis Valley, have made so many positive contributions to the communities they grew up in. Yet, now they live in fear of being torn apart from their families. The President-elect must send a message that the American dream is open to them, and commit to keeping DACA in place,” said Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman, D-Denver.

Part of the letter, attached in English and Spanish, reads “When DACA was created, it allowed Dreamers to access educational and professional opportunities that would otherwise be unattainable. While DACA is in no way a permanent solution for Dreamers and millions of other immigrants harmed by our broken immigration system, we ask your administration to continue to accept and adjudicate initial applications and renewals for the program unless and until Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform.”

The nine members of the Latino Democratic caucus are Senate Democratic Leader Lucia Guzman, Assistant Minority Leader Leroy Garcia, Sen. Irene Aguilar, Sen. Dominick Moreno, Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran, Rep. Adrienne Benavidez, Rep. Joe Salazar, Rep. Dan Pabon and Rep. Donald Valdez.

Text of the letter:

 

January 19, 2017

 

Dear President-Elect Trump:

On behalf of all Dreamers and all Coloradans whom we serve as the Democratic Latina and Latino members of the Colorado General Assembly, we urge you to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, so that recipients can continue to pursue the American dream. When DACA was created, it allowed Dreamers to access educational and professional opportunities that would otherwise be unattainable. While DACA is in no way a permanent solution for Dreamers and millions of other immigrants harmed by our broken immigration system, we ask your administration to continue to accept and adjudicate initial applications and renewals for the program unless and until Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform.

As of June 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has granted DACA to nearly 742,000 individuals, including approximately 20,000 Coloradans—our friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members. These recipients are valued members of our community—not a threat to it. In fact, they all came forward, provided personal information and corroborating evidence, paid the necessary fees, and were thoroughly vetted by the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that they did not present a threat to public safety or national security.

Eliminating the program would have a ripple effect across several other sectors, as DACA recipients would lose their drivers’ licenses, health insurance, and the ability to repay car loans and home mortgages. Eliminating DACA would increase healthcare costs, place pressure on the social safety net, and create massive disruptions to businesses. In 2010, there were 27,645 new immigrant business owners in Colorado, and new immigrant business owners had a total net business income of $1.2 billion.

Without federal authorization to work, employers will have no choice but to terminate their employees who gained work permits through the DACA program. We are confident you are aware as a businessman that turnover costs are a tremendous burden on employers. Studies show that these costs can range from tens of thousands of dollars to twice the employee’s annual salary, depending on the size of an employer. According to a recently published study by economists from Queens College of the City University of New York, “The Economic Impacts of Removing Unauthorized Immigrant Workers,” ending DACA would wipe away at least $433.4 billion from the U.S. gross domestic product.

We would like to emphasize that DACA recipients are supported by a wide range of constituencies. The agricultural community in particular is reliant on the contributions of DACA recipients, many of whom have grown up and work in rural areas. Dreamers are an integral part of our American society, and they have received support and admiration from government officials, universities, educators, employers, companies, and many others support the expansion of DACA.

What’s more, according to a 2012 Pew Research Center survey, nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults (63%) support DACA. An even greater share of Hispanics (89%) said the same, as reported by the Pew Research Center’s 2012 National Survey of Latinos.

Therefore, we ask that you please follow the will of the American people and our successful businessmen and businesswomen. If we are to strengthen the U.S. economy, DACA needs to be upheld, continued, and expanded.

We sincerely thank you for your time.

Respectfully,

 

Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman
Representative Adrienne Benavidez Assistant Minority Leader Leroy Garcia
Representative Dan Pabon Senator Irene Aguilar
Representative Joe Salazar Senator Dominick Moreno
Representative Donald Valdez

 

 

Estimado Presidente electo Donald J. Trump:

En nombre de los soñadores y todos los residentes de Colorado, a quienes servimos como Latinas y Latinos Demócratas de la Asamblea General de Colorado, les suplicamos que continúen el programa de Acción Diferida para Llegados en la Infancia (DACA), para que los beneficiarios puedan continuar con el sueño americano. Cuando DACA fue creado, permitió a soñadores tener acceso a oportunidades educativas y profesionales que antes eran inalcanzables. Aunque DACA no es de ninguna manera una solución permanente para los soñadores y millones de otros inmigrantes afectados por nuestro sistema de inmigración descompuesto, le pido a su administración que continúe aceptando las solicitudes y renovaciones iniciales para el programa hasta que el Congreso apruebe una ley para la reforma migratoria.

Desde junio del 2016, los Servicios de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de los Estados Unidos (USCIS) han aceptado aplicaciones de DACA a cerca de 742,000 personas, de las cuales aproximadamente 20,000 son nuestros amigos, vecinos, compañeros de trabajo y familiares en el estado de Colorado. Estos destinatarios son contribuyentes a nuestra comunidad y no una amenaza. De hecho, todos ellos se presentaron, dieron información personal y evidencia, pagaron las cuotas necesarias, y fueron investigados por el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional para asegurar que ellos no presentaran una amenaza para la seguridad pública o la seguridad nacional.

Eliminando el programa tendría un efecto a través de varios otros sectores porque personas con DACA perderían sus licencias para manejar, seguro de salud, y la capacidad de hacer pagos a los préstamos del auto y las hipotecas caseras. Aumentaría los costos de la salud, presionaría la red de seguridad social y crearía interrupciones masivas para las empresas. En todo el país, más de 740,000 personas han obtenido el estatus de DACA. En 2010, había 27,645 nuevos inmigrantes propietarios de negocios en Colorado, y los propietarios de nuevos negocios de inmigrantes tuvieron un ingreso neto total de negocios de $ 1.2 mil millones.

Sin la autorización federal para poder trabajar, los empleadores no tendrán más remedio que despedir a sus empleados que obtuvieron permisos de trabajo a través del programa de DACA. Como un hombre de negocios, estoy segura de que usted está consciente que los costos para reemplazar empleados son una tremenda carga para los empleadores. Los estudios demuestran que estos costos pueden variar desde decenas de miles de dólares hasta el doble del salario anual del empleado, dependiendo del tamaño de la empresa. Según un estudio publicado recientemente por economistas de la universidad CUNY de Queens College llamado, “Los Impactos Económicos de Remover Trabajadores Inmigrantes No Autorizados”, terminando con el programa de DACA borraría por lo menos $433.4 mil millones del producto interno bruto (PBI) de los Estados Unidos.

Quisiera enfatizar que las personas con DACA tienen apoyo de muchos sectores en la comunidad. La comunidad agrícola en particular depende de las contribuciones de los beneficiarios de DACA, muchos de los cuales han crecido y trabajan en zonas rurales. Los soñadores son una parte integral de nuestra sociedad americana, y han recibido el apoyo y la admiración de funcionarios gubernamentales, universidades, educadores, empleadores, empresas y muchos otros. El fundador y CEO de Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, y otras 63 empresas y ejecutivos estadounidenses, entre ellos Redfin Corp., Reid Hoffman y Ron Conway, CEO de LinkedIn, apoyan la continuación de DACA.

Además, según un estudio del Pew Research Center en 2012, casi dos tercios de los adultos de los Estados Unidos (63%) están en acuerdo con el programa de DACA. Aún, la mayoría de hispanos (89%) dijeron lo mismo, según la Encuesta Nacional de Latinos de 2012 hecho por el Pew Research Center.

Por lo tanto, nosotros les pedimos que sigan la voluntad del pueblo estadounidense y de nuestros exitosos empresarios y empresarias. Si queremos fortalecer la economía de los Estados Unidos, DACA debe ser mantenida, continuada y ampliada.

Nosotros agradecemos sinceramente por su tiempo.

 

Atentamente,

 

Crisanta Duran, Presidenta de la Cámara de Representantes Lucía Guzmán, Líder de la Minoría del Senado
Adrienne Benavidez, Representante Leroy García, Líder Asistente de la Minoría del Senado
Dan Pabón, Representante Irene Aguilar, Senadora
Joe Salazar, Representante Dominick Moreno, Senador
Donald Valdez, Representante

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