4 Oregon mayors call on Congress to protect Dreamers
Four Oregon mayors joined dozens of other mayors across the nation in calling on Congress to protect Dreamers from deportation.
Dreamers are undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. Many of whom have lived in the United States for years, and it's the only country they've ever known.
Dreamers are supposed to be protected from deportation under an Obama-era policy called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, but a July 16 decision which has been stayed pending appeal by a federal judge in Texas ruled that the program was unlawful.
Mayors urged Congress to provide permanent protection from deportations and a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers in a joint letter to Congress on Tuesday, Aug. 3.
"It is even more urgent than ever that Congress act quickly to provide permanent protection from deportation and a path to citizenship for all Dreamers people who have lived in America since they were children and built their lives here," the letter reads in part.
Beaverton Mayor Lacey Beaty, Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway, Tigard Mayor Jason Snider and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler each signed the letter.
In a written statement, Mayor Beaty emphasized the importance of Congress hearing from local leadership.
"It is important that Congress hear from mayors across the nation about the urgency of taking immediate action to protect Dreamers. Dreamers are an important part of our community, and they are Beaverton residents just like the rest of us," she wrote. "The recent U.S. District Court ruling undermines the integrity of DACA protections and has thousands of young people living in fear of deportation and uncertainty about their livelihood. The time is now to advance policies that support a path to permanent citizenship for all Dreamers so that they can study, work and build families in our cities without fear."
Like Beaty, Mayor Snider also thinks it's prudent that Congress hear from mayors.
"I think local government leaders are the elected officials that are closest to the people," he said. "And I think that makes it valuable."
Mayor Callaway told Pamplin Media Group that Oregon is a sanctuary city, so protecting DACA aligns with those values, but that is not the only reason he signed the letter.
"These are kids who have done all the right things that are in their control," he said. "They absolutely live up to the ideals of American citizenship and they're contributing members of our society in our country. I just think that that needs to be recognized and honored, and I think we need to remove the uncertainty they live under."
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