November 08, 2019

Harris, Lofgren, Roybal-Allard Lead Lawmakers in Letter Supporting DACA Recipients’ Ability to Travel Abroad

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40) on Friday sent a letter to President Trump express their support for advanced parole for DACA recipients, which allows them to travel internationally for humanitarian, educational, and employment purposes. The Department of Homeland Security suspended the availability of advanced parole for DACA recipients in September 2017.

“USCIS has not reasonably exercised its discretion, preventing many DACA beneficiaries from being able to visit loved ones at critical moments or take advantage of important educational or employment opportunities abroad,” wrote the lawmakers.

The lawmakers continued, “The continued categorical refusal to consider granting advance parole to DACA beneficiaries is needless and inhumane.  We are aware through the California Mexico Studies Center of DACA recipients with pending advance parole applications…We urge your administration to resume considering these applications on an expedited basis.”

In February, Harris led another letter to the Trump administration urging them to reconsider their position on advanced parole for DACA recipients.

In addition to Harris, Lofgren, and Roybal-Allard, the letter was signed by Senators Durbin (D-IL), Leahy (D-VT), Blumenthal (D-CT), Hirono (D-HI), Udall (D-NM), Markey (D-MA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Gillibrand (D-NY), Murray (D-WA), Warren (D-MA), Sanders (I-VT), Booker (D-NJ), Baldwin (D-WI), Wyden (D-OR), and Menendez (D-NJ) and Representatives Lowenthal (D-CA), Bera (D-CA), Bonamici (D-OR), Brownley (D-CA), Carbajal (D-CA), Cox (D-CA), Davis (D-CA), DeSaulnier (D-CA), Espaillat (D-NY), Grijalva (D-AZ), Haaland (D-NM), Harder (D-CA), Khanna (D-CA), Andy Levin (D-MI), Lieu (D-CA), Matsui (D-CA), McNerney (D-CA), Meng (D-NY), Moore (D-WI), Napolitano (D-CA), Norton (D-DC), Pallone (D-NJ), Panetta (D-CA), Porter (D-CA), Sánchez (D-CA), Schakowsky (D-IL), Soto (D-FL), Speier (D-CA), Takano (D-CA), Torres (D-CA), Vargas (D-CA), Vela (D-TX).

The full letter is available below.

November 8, 2019 

President Donald Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Washington, DC 20500

 

Dear President Trump:

We write to reiterate our support for the availability of advance parole for recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  We strongly urge you to resume issuing advance parole, particularly on humanitarian grounds, to eligible DACA beneficiaries with pending travel document applications (Forms I-131) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

With the inception of DACA in 2012, recipients were able to apply for advance parole travel authorization for educational reasons, to exercise employment opportunities requiring foreign travel, and for humanitarian reasons—including to reunite with family members facing imminent death or otherwise suffering from serious illnesses.  On September 5, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) suspended the availability of advance parole for DACA beneficiaries, after your Administration ordered the termination of DACA.

On January 9, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a preliminary injunction halting the termination of DACA, while also making clear that the government continues to have the discretion to grant advance parole to DACA recipients for deserving cases (the order does not “bar the agency from granting advance parole in individual cases it finds deserving”).  Despite this recognition, however, USCIS states on its website that it “will not accept or approve advance parole requests from DACA recipients.”  As such, USCIS has not reasonably exercised its discretion, preventing many DACA beneficiaries from being able to visit loved ones at critical moments or take advantage of important educational or employment opportunities abroad.

The continued categorical refusal to consider granting advance parole to DACA beneficiaries is needless and inhumane.  We are aware through the California Mexico Studies Center of DACA recipients with pending advance parole applications, a list of which is attached.  We urge your administration to resume considering these applications on an expedited basis, along with any other such applications pending with USCIS.

Sincerely, 

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