September 06, 2017

Senator Harris Remarks at DACA Press Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, delivered remarks alongside House and Senate Democrats at a press conference denouncing President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. During her remarks, Harris highlighted the contributions Dreamers make to California and our nation’s economy, and called for a vote on the DREAM Act in September.

presser

Full remarks as delivered:

Thank you. I’m honored to stand with my colleagues on the House and Senate side. I’d like to also mention the leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus stands here in solidarity with our Dreamers and it should be known that in 2010, unanimous support from the CBC for the Dreamers.

So, this – we’ve got to stop playing to politics with these kids. And the reality is that rescinding DACA is simply wrong. We are talking about a population of 800,000 young people. We have 220,000 in California alone. And let’s be clear about the dynamic in which we’re discussing this. I’ve met with senior members of this Administration who when I asked, had to confess they never met a Dreamer. How can you form such strong opinions about people you’ve never met? People you don’t know. And then allow this population to be vilified. It’s not only wrong, it’s irresponsible. So let’s get on board with the facts before we start expressing opinions about this population of people we have called Dreamers.

They are serving in our military. They are working in Fortune 100 companies. They are college students, they are law students, they are scientists. Let’s be clear – 40% of the Fortune 500 was created by immigrants or the children of immigrants. Let’s stop vilifying this population. And let’s get to work also understanding that this is about not only what is morally right, it also is about what is economically right.

To rescind DACA means to lose as much as 700,000 jobs in the United States because of the jobs that are created around this population. In California alone if we rescind DACA, we will lose $11 billion. And we are looking at hundreds of billions of dollars to the economy as a whole, through taxpayers, if we rescind DACA.

So there are many reasons to stand with our Dreamers including the fact that we are talking about young people who were brought here, many as toddlers, this is the only home they’ve known. To send them back to some country that is foreign to them, where they may not even speak the language, is just wrong. Let’s give them the ability to be all that we know we are as a country, which is we are a country of Dreamers. We are a country of people who know that we aspire to have a country of young people who want to develop themselves and help our country produce and be the greatest country on this Earth but we will be only if we stand by our principles and our morals and the ideals of who we are.

So let’s pass this, let’s get it done in September and I thank you everyone here and Senator Durbin in particular, thank you. 

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