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Today, more than 60 Nebraska business, city, faith, education, law enforcement, health, and local community organizations and leaders signed a public letter to Nebraska’s members of Congress urging legislation that continues the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The letter represents a strong showing of community support recognizing the valuable contributions to Nebraska by DACA recipients and their families, and urges Congress take action to protect them from deportation so they can continue to go to work, attend school, and contribute their skills to Nebraska’s communities.
“As business, civic, religious, and non-profit organizations and community leaders dedicated to the strength and stability of Nebraska communities, we urgently call on Nebraska’s members of Congress to work with the incoming Administration to pass legislation to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipients and their families,” the letter reads.
In recent years, Nebraska state lawmakers have recognized the value young Nebraska immigrants add to the state by passing laws allowing them to apply for driver’s and professional licenses. Tuesday’s letter encouraged Nebraska’s federal leaders to reflect the same commitment shown by the state’s business, faith, law enforcement, and local leaders in supporting protections for Nebraska’s DACA recipients and their families.
“We strongly urge you to preserve DACA so that these important community members can continue to work hard as teachers, health care professionals, accountants, counselors, and small-business owners,” reads an excerpt of the letter. “Retaining DACA is the right choice, both morally and economically, while we wait for Congress to pass updated, common-sense immigration laws.
“Legislation securing the safety of those with DACA and their families will continue to uplift the many young people who want to put their talents to use and give back to the only country they know as home.”
Tuesday’s letter followed support expressed by the three campuses of the University of Nebraska, Creighton University, and College of St. Mary in letters from university presidents and leaders in Catholic higher education released before the holidays.
Speakers at Tuesday’s press conference included: Rev. David Lux of St. Paul United Methodist Church, Alejandra Ayotitla, an Adult Education Program Coordinator and DACA recipient, and Jim Partington, the Executive Director of the Nebraska Restaurant Association.