Mayor Hamilton signs letter in support of DACA recipients

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Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton has signed a "We Are With Dreamers” letter in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, according to a release from his office Tuesday.

"Dreamer" is a term used by proponents of the program to describe immigrants who were brought to the country as children. The word is derived from bipartisan legislation originally proposed in 2001 called the DREAM Act, which stood for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors. 

In part, the letter signed by the mayor emphasizes the benefits of the DACA program and the losses that deporting the program's approximate 800,000 enrollees would cause. According to the letter, the potential decrease in gross domestic product would be about $460.3 billion.

"We believe it is a moral imperative that the administration and the country know we are with them," the letter reads. "We also join together to send our assurances to Dreamers: we see you, we value you, and we are ready to defend you."

Because DACA was a program pushed by the Obama Administration and not legislation voted on by Congress, it has faced opposition since its institution. Under President Trump, the program is at risk of being terminated given the threat of a lawsuit from Republican-led states that want the program to end Sept. 5. The efforts to repeal the program are being led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

“I am proud to join other elected officials in supporting DACA," the mayor said in the release. "In Bloomington, we value everyone who chooses to call this home and pursue a future that contributes to the well being of our city, state and nation.”

Demonstrations at IU-Bloomington by sanctuary campus proponents have led University officials, including Provost Lauren Robel and President Michael McRobbie, to make multiple commitments to the program, though some advocates have said these statements do not suffice. McRobbie joined 640 university leaders across the country when he signed a letter in support of the DACA program in November 2016.

 Jesse Naranjo

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