Menendez Marks 1-Year Anniversary of Creation of DAPA and Expansion of DACA

Menendez Marks 1-Year Anniversary of Creation of DAPA and Expansion of DACA

WASHINGTON, DC – As a champion for immigration reform and a leading voice of the coalition that pushed for executive action, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) today issued the following statement on the 1-year anniversary of President Obama’s announcement to create the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program and extend the successful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“It’s been one year since I and many of my colleagues pushed for the President to use his executive powers to take action and do what he could on immigration. The historic announcement to create the DAPA program and expand the DACA program meant millions of moms and dads, our neighbors, and friends would be able to come out of the shadows, register with the government, pass a background check, and receive a work permit to fully contribute to our society through their ingenuity, hard work and skills. Instead, a politically-motivated lawsuit by Republicans has kept those families who celebrated this historic achievement stuck in a legal limbo and waiting for justice to be served.”

“As anti-immigrant rhetoric has completely taken over the GOP presidential debate, forcing most of my Republican colleagues to turn their back on the need for decency and fairness in our immigration system and join the immigrant assaults peddled by the radical right, I firmly stand by the actions President Obama and Secretary Johnson rightfully and lawfully took last year.”

“Let us never forget that these were temporary solutions about people, about fairness, and about keeping families together – something that’s as true today as it was one year ago. Today should be a day of reflection for millions of families, when we as a nation took a momentous step in the right direction by recognizing their humanity and allowed them to come out from the darkness of despair. This should be a date for Congress to remember the job is not done until comprehensive immigration reform is approved and we recognize that our nation thrives because of our rich multiculturalism and diversity.”

In New Jersey, approximately 137, 000 parents of U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents would have benefited from the new DAPA program. An additional 11,000 young people would have benefited from the expanded DACA program. The current 2012 DACA program has already benefitted 52,000 kids in New Jersey. The White House Council of Economic Advisers estimates the full implementations of these programs would have led New Jersey’s GDP to increase from $2.9 billion to $6.8 billion over the next decade.