Since the election, there has been great fear and anxiety in the immigrant community caused by the president-elect’s campaign pledge to deport immigrants and eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that provides protection from deportation to more than 740,000 DREAMers.
As a naturalized immigrant myself and co-founder of The Resurrection Project, an organization supporting the responsible social and economic integration of immigrant families, I too am deeply concerned for what may come in this next administration.
This concern drove more than 500 individuals, many of whom are undocumented, to a recent inter-faith candlelight vigil where approximately 40 Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh faith leaders shared messages of love for this country and solidarity as an act of support.
Today, Chicago is facing a number of issues, but the immoral separation of families and potential removal of undocumented students pursuing the American DREAM should not be one of those issues.
We applaud Mayor Emmanuel’s quick action to support immigrant families. The Mayor’s pledge to keep Chicago a “welcoming city” for immigrants and creation of a $1 million “legal protection fund” to help immigrants fight deportation is the leadership we need right now.
This is a well-applied policy because the economic argument for the responsible integration of immigrants is clear: immigrants grow our economy by an estimated 11 percent or $1.6 trillion each year and produce more than they consume (Center for Immigration Studies date of report). The economic impact of the DACA executive order is estimated to be $230 billion (New American Economy).
The Resurrection Project will continue working with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Illinois Business Immigrant Coalition, National Partnership for New
Americans and many other organizations to urge policy makers to make responsible decisions with regards to immigrants that are both morally and economically justified.
Economically, most research concludes, that immigrants are a net positive to the nation’s economy. As an immigrant, I am a witness to the contribution that immigrants make regardless of our immigration status to the American value system and its social fabric.
Raul I. Raymundo, CEO
The Resurrection Project