FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2021
SAN ANTONIO – The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) has released the following statement calling on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
HACU and the more than 500 Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) located throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico urge Congress to pass crucial immigration reform through the budget reconciliation process by enacting the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 as a roadmap to achieve the goals in the Dream Act, the American Promise Act, and the Agricultural Workers Adjustment Act. This comprehensive piece of legislation would provide a much deserved and earned path to citizenship to certain immigrants such as Dreamers including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and farmworkers.
“Dreamers including DACA recipients, many of whom are essential frontline workers, play an integral part of our civil society,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “Congress must act quickly to offer a path to citizenship to Dreamers and immigrants as a recognition to their valuable contribution to the social, political, and economic fabric, and promote the next generation of leaders to succeed in our communities and workforce.”
We must support the educational goals of Dreamers and DACA students. According to a study conducted by New American Economy (NAE), researchers estimate that undocumented students exceed 450,000. The same study also reported that out of the 450,000 immigrant students, roughly 216,000 students are DACA or DACA-eligible. Even though these young Americans have been currently leading exemplary lives as college students, Dreamers and DACA students are not eligible to receive any form of federal student aid, which adds to the financial strain these students already face.
Immigrants’ contributions extend beyond the classroom and into our communities. Immigrants who become lawful permanent residents and eventually become citizens contribute in both tangible and intangible ways to the vitality of the United States’ economy and democracy. The value of an individual becoming a U.S. citizen benefits our society since citizens earn better wages compared to undocumented immigrants, and in turn they contribute to the country’s economy by paying more taxes and are more likely to be homeowners.
“HACU encourages its members to reach out to their members of Congress and urge them to act swiftly to pass immigration reform through the budget reconciliation process by enacting the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021,” added Flores.
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, founded in 1986, represents more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Latin America, Spain and school districts throughout the U.S. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The Association’s headquarters are in San Antonio, Texas, with regional offices in Washington, D.C and Sacramento, California.