HOUSTON (FOX 26) - In a Lone Star State where nearly four in 10 Texans claim Latin heritage, Hispanic leaders can project considerable political stroke.
At Houston's City Hall, many joined forces with the mayor of America's fourth largest metropolis in support of freedom from deportation and a path to citizenship for the undocumented young people known as "Dreamers."
"As we look toward the future, the future of the City of Houston is very well dependent on the Dreamers that exist within this city," said Mayor Sylvester Turner.
With their call aimed at Texas Senator John Cornyn, the Hispanic Chamber came armed with numbers, claiming a full 10 percent of the nation's Dreamers, 80,000 in all, are contributing to Houston's economy.
"Texas would lose up to $6 billion should these DACA recipients not allowed to stay here. The Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is asking Senator Cornyn to be a leader, to be a hero, to do the right thing," said Laura Murillo, CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber.
While polls show a majority of Texans are opposed to deporting Dreamers, only 40 percent of the state's Republicans think the "childhood arrivals" should be granted legal status.
As Congress grapples with the issue, Turner urged the citizens he represents to let their feelings be known.
"Let me just say to you, if you are anywhere in the 640 square miles of Houston I am your mayor and this is your city and there's no better time to do the right thing than right now," said Turner.
Notably absent from City Hall outcry was a plea to Texas Senator Ted Cruz who has announced he will oppose a path to citizenship for anyone living in the country illegally.
Protection will begin to expire on March 5 for those registered within the DACA program.