WATCH: Padilla Urges President Biden to Expand Protections for Dreamers 

WATCH: Padilla commemorates 12th DACA anniversary by calling for congressional and executive action

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ahead of the 12th anniversary of the establishment of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety, joined immigration advocates, DACA recipients, and other lawmakers urging Congress to pass a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. Padilla also called on President Biden to protect Dreamers and long-term undocumented communities through executive action.

Advocacy groups and DACA recipients from the Home is Here coalition, including United We Dream, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), America’s Voice, CASA,, Immigrants Rising, Justice Action Center, and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), marked the DACA anniversary and pushed for permanent protections for Dreamers and other long-term undocumented immigrants. Representatives Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas-29), Delia C. Ramirez (D-Ill.-03), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.-12) also delivered remarks during the press conference.

“Every June that passes without permanent protections for DACA recipients and Dreamers is a call to action for the more than half a million DACA-recipients — from teachers and caregivers to nurses and doctors — who continue to live in limbo,” said Senator Padilla. “While the DACA program faces challenges in court, the dreams of hundreds of thousands of young Americans are under threat. I urge President Biden to use his authority to take action and provide relief to caregivers, Dreamers, DACA-recipients, and the undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens whose dreams deserve to be protected.”

DACA remains under threat from ongoing Republican-led litigation in Texas. With the fate of the DACA program potentially depending on the courts again, the 12th anniversary is a critical reminder of the perpetual uncertainty DACA recipients face.

Senator Padilla is a leading voice in the Senate for immigration reform. He has fought relentlessly to expand a pathway to citizenship for millions of long-term U.S. residents. Padilla’s bill, the Renewing Immigration Provisions of the Immigration Act of 1929, would update the existing Registry statute so that an immigrant may be eligible for lawful permanent resident status if they meet certain conditions, providing a much-needed pathway to a green card for more than 8 million people, including Dreamers, TPS holders, children of long-term visa holders, essential workers, and highly skilled members of our workforce. Padilla recently joined immigration advocates and led five of his Senate colleagues to call on President Biden to take executive action to protect long-term undocumented immigrants in the United States.

Padilla has repeatedly condemned the proposed threats to the asylum system and lack of legalization provisions in the national security supplemental aid package and Border Act considered by the Senate, and he called on his colleagues and the White House to include a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and other long-standing undocumented residents. He previously introduced the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented essential workers, including Dreamers, as his first bill in Congress.


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