CU Leaders Hope Trump Proposal Leads to Renewed DACA Protections
Some credit union leaders said Monday that President Trump’s proposal to resume protections for young undocumented immigrants—under certain conditions—might provide an opening to grant relief to the young “Dreamers” who came to the United States as children.
On Sunday, Trump sent Congress a proposal to resume protections for Dreamers if Congress sends him an immigration bill meeting his key demands:
- Build a wall across the southern border;
- Hire 10,000 immigration agents;
- Toughen laws for those seeking asylum;
- Deny federal grants to “sanctuary cities;”
- Require companies to use the E-Verify program to keep illegal immigrants from getting jobs;
- End the practice of people bringing their extended family into the United Stat
- Harden the border to keep out the thousands of children fleeing violence in Central America.
In 2012, President Barack Obama signed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive order giving temporary protection from deportation and work permits to an estimated 800,000 young people. On Sept. 5, President Donald Trump signed another executive order rescinding it.
By March, thousands of those work permits will begin expiring, and deportations will once again loom, if a deal is not reached.
Miriam De Dios Woodward, CEO of Coopera, a Hispanic marketing firm in Des Moines, Iowa, said Congress should first act to protect Dreamers and provide them a path to citizenship.
“It's my hope the White House’s wish list is the start of a negotiation, rather than a laundry list of unconditional stipulations,” Woodward said.
“Extreme demands, especially ones focused on the immigration system as a whole, make it much harder to solve the immediate issue of DACA protections and a path for citizenship for Dreamers,” she said. “Placing add-on conditions to the protection of Dreamers puts their futures in a much more precarious situation.”
Illiana Financial Credit Union of Chicago ($239.9 million in assets, 23,643 members), has earned the Juntos Avanzamos (“Together We Advance”) designation from the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions for its commitment to serving Hispanics. It is also has three Dreamers among its 52 employees.
Jim Henmueller, president/CEO of Illiana Financial CU, said he hopes the White House and Congress will work together to provide his young employees and others like them a path to citizenship.
Trump won’t get Congress to agree to all of his demands, the proposal will allow serious negotiations to begin, Henmueller said.
“It’s clear that something needs to be done to help get the Dreamers out of this purgatory,” Henmueller said. “The president’s hardline stance may be just what our Congress needs to finally make some real progress on immigration reform.”
Whatever deals are reached on DACA, Point West Credit Union ($105.8 million in assets, 9,823 members) in Portland, Ore., will continue to serve everyone in the community, “regardless of citizenship, skin color or socioeconomic status,” said Amy Nelson, president/CEO of Point West, which is also a Juntos Avanzamos credit union.
“Safety and security comes from policies that are mindful and inclusive of everyone in our community,” Nelson said. “Our economy, education systems and government policies are stronger, not weaker, when we create inclusive opportunities for immigrants.”