Speeches and Statements

SPEECH: Rep. Murphy Speech on DACA at Valencia College

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Orlando, November 7, 2017 | comments
Thank you very much for inviting me to speak at LASO’s event on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. I appreciate LASO’s efforts to educate students and professors at Valencia College, and to inform the broader central Florida community, as to why this issue is so important—from both a moral and economic perspective.

As you know, DACA provides temporary relief for individuals without lawful immigration status who were brought to the United States as children and who meet other criteria. DACA recipients were able to pursue their education and to obtain employment.

Since the policy was created in 2012, DACA has enabled almost 800,000 young men and women—known as Dreamers—to emerge from the shadows and to build a life for themselves in the United States—the only country most of them have ever truly known. Many Dreamers are enrolled in an institution of higher education, and about 9 in 10 Dreamers are working.

I have had the honor to meet with Dreamers in Washington, DC and here in central Florida. They are patriotic Americans, they have studied and worked hard, and they have made vital contributions to the United States. They have done nothing wrong and, indeed, they have done everything right.

Dreamers treasure this country, and this country should treasure Dreamers. Dreamers are proud of this nation, and this nation should be proud of Dreamers.

Unfortunately, in September, the Trump administration announced that it would end DACA. Therefore, unless Congress takes action, Dreamers will be required to uproot their lives and forced to return to the country of their parents and grandparents. The American dream they have worked so hard to achieve will become an American nightmare.

As a mother, I cannot support any policy that punishes children who did nothing wrong. As a refugee and an immigrant, I know that the most patriotic and proud Americans are often those born outside of this country. As a former national security specialist at the Department of Defense, I know that rescinding DACA will not make America safer and more secure.

To defend Dreamers, and to stand up for American values, Congress must act—and it must act soon. I am proud to support the Dream Act, a bill that would provide Dreamers with a path to legal status—and would ensure these remarkable young men and men can continue to live, study, and work in the country they call home.

Thank you again for inviting me.

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