‘Clean Dream Act' has support of former San Antonio mayor

Julian Castro: Congress can do it ‘if it has the willpower'

SAN ANTONIO – The nation’s nearly 800,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, 124,000 in Texas, have the support of former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who also served as the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama.

“This country needs our Dreamers. They’re talented. They work hard, and they’re vital to the future of our nation,” Castro said during a conference call hosted by America’s Voice, a Washington D.C.-based organization promoting immigration reform.

Castro said a recent analysis showed 91 percent of DACA recipients are in school, are employed or in the military.

Last month, President Donald Trump announced he was ending DACA, which granted work permits and temporary legal status to qualified young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

The president has given Congress until next March to come up with a possible replacement.

DACA supporters have said they want a “clean” version, such as the one that was created by executive order in 2012. But they’ve said they do want a path to citizenship.

Castro called on Sen. John Cornyn, of Texas, to use his leadership role in the Republican Party to make it happen.

“Cornyn must be aware they’re living in limbo,” Castro said. “He should make sure Congress passes a DREAM Act soon.”

Cornyn recently told a Congressional judiciary committee that he believes Congress can get it done “if they are willing to work with us on real border security and interior enforcement measures to stop illegal immigration.”

"Creating a legislative fix is the right thing to do but there is a big caveat: Before we provide legal status to these young people, we must reassure, and actually, regain the public confidence that we’re serious when it comes to enforcing the law and securing our borders...I stand ready to work with all of our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get such a border security and enforcement bill passed through both Houses and to the President’s desk before March 2018. I believe we can get it done, and if they are willing to work with us on real border security and interior enforcement measures to stop illegal immigration, we can then, as part of that process, address the DACA problem." — Sen. John Cornyn

“If Congress doesn’t step up, the lives of many Texas Dreamers and the Texas economy are going to be harmed,” Castro said.

Castro said if DACA recipients lose their work permits, the Texas economy stands to lose an estimated $6.3 billion.

“This is something that Congress can get done if it has the willpower to do it,” he said.

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