On December 6, 2017, MeBIC participated in a press conference in Bangor urging Congress to act before the end of the year to pass legislation creating a path to permanent residency for those with DACA status. Speakers included former Bangor Mayor Joe Baldacci, followed by Dana Connors, MeBIC Board member and CEO of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Megan Sanders, Esq, of Penobscot County Community Health Care, Jack McKay of the Eastern Maine Labor Council and Board member of the Maine AFL-CIO, and MeBIC’s Beth Stickney.
Beginning March 6, 2018, about 8500 DACA holders each week will lose their legal protections and their work authorization, jeopardizing their ability to pay for college, to work, to serve in our military, and to contribute to their families and their communities.
It will take time for Immigration officials to get any new residency application process up and running. Congress must act before the end of this year to pass the Dream Act of 2017 or other durable solution. Otherwise, DACA holders will face a gap in their employment authorization status that will force employers to have to lay them off, and cause the DACA holders and their employers undue hardship, even here in Maine.
See some of the media coverage here: