Editor’s NOTE: Last week, activist Oklahomans working with FWD.us, a national group with a state affiliate, sent an open letter to all members of the Oklahoma congressional delegation. The group provided a copy of their letter to Patrick B. McGuigan, publisher of The City Sentinel newswpaper. The letter and names of all who signed it is posted below.
December 4, 2017
Dear Senators Inhofe and Lankford, and Representatives Bridenstine, Mullin, Lucas, Cole and Russell:
With less than a month before Members of Congress will go home for the holidays, we urge you to pass legislation this year that will protect hardworking young Dreamers from deportation, keep American families together, and ensure that nearly 800,000 young people currently living, working, and contributing to our communities can continue doing so in the only nation most of them have ever called home.
Dreamers contribute billions of dollars to our GDP; they pay federal, state, and local taxes; they teach our children in school, and serve bravely in our military. In Oklahoma, more than 6,800 DACA recipients are already contributing to our local economy, and ripping them out of the workforce will cost $344 million in annual GDP. Dreamers make our communities stronger every day, but they are in urgent need of a permanent legislative solution that will protect them from becoming targets for deportation, ripped from their families and needlessly kicked out of the workforce. Beyond the devastating moral consequences, deporting hardworking young individuals is a waste of taxpayer dollars that would cost the U.S. economy $460 billion in lost GDP and $24.6 billion in lost Social Security and Medicare tax contributions. An overwhelming majority of Americans on both sides of the aisle agree that we should protect Dreamers from deportation.
Congress has the opportunity to show genuine leadership in passing a permanent legislative solution to protect Dreamers. We urge you to do right by these hard working young people, who are American in every way but on paper, and pass legislation before you leave town for the holidays. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Executive Director, Tulsa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
President, Scissortail Community Development Organization
Rev. Justin Lindstrom
Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral
Chair, Tulsa Hispanic Affairs Commission
International Committee Chair, Tulsa Hispanic Affairs Commission
Scott Carter Associate
Professor of Economics, University of Tulsa
Teacher, Santa Fe South School
Gerardo Rico Student
Oklahoma State University
Former Program Director, Aspiring Americans
Hispanic Community Leader
Hispanic Community Leader
Director of Development and Communications, Teach for America
Office Manager, Jones Energy
Attorney, Fry & Elder
Partner, Conner and Winters LLP
Dreamer, University of Oklahoma
Tulsa Managing Director, Communities In Schools of Mid-America
Cc: The Honorable Paul D. Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Majority