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Rep. Maloney Hosts Rep. Luis Gutierrez at Town Hall on Immigration Issues &
Obama Administration’s Deferred Action Program
Long Island City, NY--October 9, 2012--Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) on October 7 hosted her colleague, Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), a leading champion of immigration reform and the DREAM Act, at a Congressional Town Hall meeting to discuss immigration issues and the Obama administration’s recently announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. The Town Hall was held at LaGuardia Community College's Mainstage Theater.
Other featured speakers at the Town Hall included representatives of the American Immigration Lawyers Association; CUNY Citizenship Now; and the New York Immigration Coalition. Immediately following the Town Hall meeting, Representatives Maloney and Gutierrez joined with Shah Amanat, President of LaGuardia Community College’s student government, and two young students who are eligible for the DACA program, to talk with members of the news media about immigration issues.
In remarks at the Town Hall meeting, Congresswoman Maloney the following:
“President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy will enable certain people who came to our country as children and meet key guidelines, similar those included in the DREAM Act, to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and to apply for work authorization. This is not amnesty; it’s not immunity. But it will provide an opportunity for hundreds of thousands of young people to step out of the shadows and participate fully in pursuit of the American dream. It is a terrific accomplishment that we should embrace.
“As we all know, however, our immigration system is broken, and more needs to be done. I am a strong supporter of the DREAM Act – which would provide a pathway to citizenship for young people who, through no fault of their own, haven’t been fully able to realize their dreams and aspirations. But, unfortunately, we’ve had a tough time getting it through Congress, because what was a bipartisan cause for years is now mired in partisan politics. This is a sad example of how legislative gridlock affects real lives. DREAMers represent our future. They are going to pursue their education, they are going to work hard, they are going to make a huge difference for our country.”
Congressman Gutierrez said, “We want to get as many DREAM Act-eligible young people signed up for this opportunity as possible because it begins the process of recognizing their place in our society. They grew up here, they will most likely live the rest of their lives here, and we should have a permanent way for them to be in the system and on-the-books and this is a step in that direction, if only a temporary program at this point. The process is a bit time-consuming and confusing, but with help from experts, volunteers and from sensible leaders like Rep. Carolyn Maloney, we are helping a lot of great young people sign up for this program that President Obama so wisely authorized. In the long run, it will take legislation to address the status of these young immigrants and their families, and I look forward to rolling up my sleeves with Carolyn Maloney, President Obama, and leaders from both parties once we have the election behind us to craft a workable and politically viable long-term solution.”
In a written statement, LaGuardia Community College President Dr. Gail Mellow said, “Here at LaGuardia, we open the doors of higher education and create opportunities for immigrants so they may achieve their dreams. Whether it is through job training, our English language programs or delivering a high-quality, affordable education, LaGuardia is a great place for all immigrants to learn and succeed. We are proud to have Congresswoman Maloney and Congressman Gutierrez as supporters and advocates for our students here at LaGuardia and throughout the United States.”
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is a national association of immigration lawyers that was established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.
CUNY Citizenship Now is the largest university-based immigration service programs in the nation, which has offered free immigration services to all New Yorkers.
The New York Immigration Coalition includes nearly 200 member organizations and helps to foster immigrant community leadership and civic engagement, while promoting immigrants rights; and other local elected officials.
For more information on Deferred Action please visit www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals or www.weownthedream.org.