NETWORK Calls for Creating Access to Citizenship for all 11 Million Aspiring Americans in the Shadows
For Immediate Release: January 18, 2017
Contact: Ashley Wilson, 202-601-7856
WASHINGTON, D.C. –NETWORK applauds Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) as well as Representatives Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) for introducing the “Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act,” bi-partisan legislation to protect nearly 800,000 young people currently shielded from detention and deportation under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
“The introduction of the BRIDGE Act is important step toward protecting the young people who benefit from DACA and are fully integrated into our schools, our churches, our places of work. They deserve safety and security in the United States, their home, and must not be deported,” said Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, a national organization of advocates inspired by Catholic sisters. “Our sincere hope is that the BRIDGE Act leads to a larger bi-partisan effort to fix our broken immigration system so that Dreamers, their parents, and other valued members of our community can finally come out of the shadows and fully participate in our democracy.“
The BRIDGE Act will allow young women and men who received protection from detention and deportation under DACA to continue to get temporary protection for three years. All recipients have passed stringent background checks. Rescinding DACA without passing the BRIDGE Act would have devastating effects on the recipients and their families. It would also cause serious harm to the U.S. economy. Ending DACA would eliminate an estimated $433.4 billion from the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare contributions over a ten year period. Read more in a letter signed by 24-faith organizations that are a part of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition.
DACA recipient and NETWORK Government Affairs Associate Laura Muñoz, said, “The BRIDGE Act gives me hope. I am hopeful to continue my work at an organization that I love. I am hopeful that I won’t have to fear the possibility of being detained and deported to a country I no longer know. But to be honest, I am also gravely afraid that my parents will be taken away from my siblings and me. Through this time of uncertainty, it’s clear and comforting that there are Members of Congress committed to keeping hope alive for my family and me.”
The NETWORK community will continue to work on achieving a pathway to citizenship for the recipients of DACA, their parents, and family members that continue to live in the shadows as a result of a broken system. The reality that our beloved immigrant community members are living in fear must be kept in mind as we continue to pursue progress through legislation like the BRIDGE Act.
NETWORK, advocates for justice inspired by Catholic sisters, educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation. They have a more than 40-year track record of lobbying for critical federal programs that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good. www.networklobby.org
Sister Simone Campbell, SSS is available for interviews. For inquiries, contact Ashley Wilson email@example.com or 202-601-7856.