TUCSON – Congressman Raul M. Grijalva (AZ-03) released the following statement after the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The program, established under President Obama in 2012, has shielded more than 800,000 young individuals from deportation and granted them the opportunity to remain in the U.S. to work or go to school. A recent Center for American Progress assessment found that ending the DACA program would remove at least $433.4 billion from the U.S. GDP cumulatively over a decade. In Arizona alone, there are nearly 28,000 DACA recipients. Ending DACA would cost Arizona more than $1.3 billion in annual GDP.
Rep. Grijalva joined 116 Members of the Democratic Caucus in introducing the American Hope Act.
The American Hope Act would:
• Allow DACA beneficiaries and other DREAMers to apply for CPR status.
• Allow those granted CPR status to obtain LPR status (i.e., a “green card”) after 3 years if they stay out of trouble. Time spent with DACA would count toward the required 3 years with CPR status.
• Provide a 5-year path to U.S. citizenship. Time spent in CPR status would count toward the general 5-year period needed for permanent residents to become eligible for U.S. citizenship.
• Allow minors to apply for CPR status through a legal guardian or counsel.
• Improve college affordability for undocumented youth and other immigrants by repealing rules that limit their access to in-state tuition and college loans.
• Treat all DREAMers brought to the United States as young children the same, regardless of educational level, military service, or work history.