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Attorney General of Virginia

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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Director of Communication
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
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ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING SUPPORTS EFFORTS TO PRESERVE AND FORTIFY DACA

~ Herring highlights critical contributions of hundreds of thousands of DREAMers to public health efforts, economy, and communities in Virginia and across the country ~

RICHMOND – Attorney General Mark R. Herring today joined a coalition of 24 attorneys general in sending a comment letter in support of the federal government’s efforts to preserve and fortify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In the comment letter, Attorney General highlights the critical contributions of hundreds of thousands of Dreamers to broader public health efforts, the economy, and communities across the country — and urges the federal government to finalize regulations strengthening DACA and ensuring that states can continue to benefit from the program. Since 2012, DACA has protected from deportation and extended work authorization to approximately 825,000 individuals who grew up in this country, most of whom have known no home other than the United States.

 

“The Commonwealth is home to more than 12,000 DREAMers who play an indispensable role in our communities, on our college campuses, and in our economy,” said Attorney General Herring. “Strengthening DACA will help ensure that these exceptional young people will be able to stay in the only country they’ve ever called home, giving them a chance to build a life for themselves without fear of deportation. It has been an honor to stand up and fight to protect DACA and DREAMers and I will continue to join my colleagues in doing just that.”

 

The DACA program has allowed recipients to live, study, and work across the United States free from the fear of being forcibly separated from their families and communities. DACA has enabled hundreds of thousands of grantees to enroll in colleges and universities, complete their education, start businesses that help improve our economy, and give back to our communities as teachers, medical professionals, engineers, and entrepreneurs — all on the books. These contributions became especially evident as the deadly coronavirus pandemic began to sweep through the nation and thousands of DACA recipients stood, and continue to stand, on the frontlines as essential workers. As of April 2020, an estimated 27,000 healthcare workers and support staff depend on DACA for their authorization to work in the United States, including nurses, dentists, pharmacists, physician assistants, home health aides, technicians, and others. DACA has also advanced public health and societal interests in another way: by giving its recipients the opportunity to procure employer-provided health insurance, which has been particularly critical as the states fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

In the comment letter, the coalition asserts, among other things:

  • DACA has public safety and public health benefits for the states;
  • The states benefit economically from DACA and DACA recipients;
  • DACA and DACA recipients are important to the states’ higher education institutions;
  • The states have adopted laws, regulations, and programs in reliance on DACA; and
  • Opponents of DACA are unable to substantiate any alleged harms.

 

Joining Attorney General Herring in sending today’s comment letter are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

 

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