Trump ends DACAAround the Nation, Breaking News, Top Highlights Tuesday, September 5th, 2017
WASHINGTON ― The Trump administration today announced the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program will officially terminate in six months when the matter will be handed over to Congress. Nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants are at risk of deportation if the president and members of the House and Senate can’t make a deal to protect them.
The five-year-old program has allowed hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought to the U.S. as minors to stay in the country, to continue their studies and to continue making positive contributions to the nation.
Announcing the termination Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “We are people of compassion and we are people of law,” Sessions said during a speech at the Department of Justice. “But there is nothing compassionate about the failure to enforce immigration laws. … The compassionate thing to do is to end the lawlessness, enforce our laws and, if Congress chooses to make changes to those laws, to do so through the process set forth by our founders in a way that advances the interest of the American people.”
Reaction from immigration and LGBT advocacy groups was swift. Cristóbal J. Alex, President of Latino Victory Project, issued the following statement: “Rather than demonstrating ‘great heart,’ President Trump’s decision to pull the rug from under 800,000 young undocumented Americans reveals his cruel and callous nature. If the President cannot find it in his heart to protect innocent, patriotic young people from being deported to countries they do not know, we cannot expect him to act honorably in times of moral crisis.
“We must exhaust all legal options to preserve DACA and work to finally provide DREAMers with permanent protection. I urge congressional Republicans to show them the grace and empathy that the president was unable to muster and act immediately to shield them from an uncertain future.”
According to reports, the Trump Administration had been “reviewing its options” on DACA for months with President Trump even saying on record that DREAMers should “rest easy” concerning his immigration policies. Today’s policy announcement, however, is a complete one-eighty since President Trump’s inauguration as it reverts back to his campaign promise to dismantle DACA in the first place.
“This is yet another hateful decision by the Trump-Pence Administration,” said Alejandro Avilés, HRC’s Director of Outreach and Engagement. “A White House that has pardoned human rights violators like Joe Arpaio and espoused racism and white nationalism has now decided that hundreds of thousands of young people – many of whom have never known a home outside the U.S. — are no longer welcome here. Students, with bright futures ahead of them, ready to help make our country truly great, will be sent back to places they don’t remember, breaking families apart and setting our country back immeasurably.”
GLAAD strongly condemned today’s announcement, “President Trump’s choice to dismantle DACA is an attack on about 800,000 DREAMers, their families, and their communities, and will expose them to racial targeting by ICE and deportation to a place that they have never called home in the first place,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “Along with his Muslim ban and pardon of Joe Arpaio, this cruel act is a trifecta of President Trump’s full embrace to the violent, out-of-touch ideology of white supremacists. The LGBTQ community stands with fair-minded Americans in demanding that hardworking and patriotic DREAMers be allowed access to the American Dream.”
Condemning the move, LGBT Equality Caucus Executive Director Roddy Flynn said, “After his unfounded smear of transgender service members, President Trump has now decided to take aim at children of immigrants. This cruel decision goes against not just overwhelming public opinion, but basic human decency. The hundreds of thousands of young people covered by DACA know no other home than America. To rip these protections away will force them out of jobs, destabilize families and businesses, and send shockwaves through the U.S. economy.
“Previously, this President pledged he would handle Dreamers with ‘heart,’” Flynn continued, “But that promise has proven to be just as meaningless as his pledge to ‘protect’ the LGBT community.”
California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher who represents California’s 80th Assembly District, located in southern San Diego County, including the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, and National City called the decision “disgusting.”
“It’s hateful. It’s vicious. It’s cruel. It’s disgusting,” said Gonzalez Fletcher. “My heart breaks for the hundreds of thousands of people who are now forced to cope with this living nightmare. I can only pray Congress musters some basic human decency and prevents this horrific policy from becoming reality.”
Scott Roberts, Senior Campaign Director at Color Of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization, issued the following statement: “The white supremacists in Charlottesville who chanted ‘you will not replace us’ will be proud today, as Jeff Sessions pledges to remove protections for 800,000 largely brown and Black immigrant youth. By setting a six-month timeline for disbanding the DACA program instituted by President Obama, Trump is doubling down on his commitment to white supremacists inside and outside his administration.
“800,000 brave young adults will soon be targeted with the threat of deportation. For years they have been contributing all they can to this country, whether through work or school. This is their home. Going after them is a moral outrage, even for the likes of Trump, who just last week pardoned infamous racist Joe Arpaio. Moreover it will be disruptive to our economy, as hundreds of thousands of co-workers and employees are forced out of their jobs.
“The ball is now in Congress’s court: pass the DREAM Act and ensure that hundreds of thousands of young people are allowed to continue studying and working in America. Similarly Congress needs to stand up to the other ways this administration is seeking to criminalize immigrants, such as ending the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for thousands of Haitian immigrants.
“Immigrants are integral to this nation, and neither Trump nor his white supremacist cronies will be able to change that.”
So far, the DACA program has allowed undocumented immigrants who entered the United States before the age of 16, and met other federal government requirements, to receive a temporary work permit and protection from deportation for a renewable two-year period. According to the Williams Institute, there are approximately 75,000 LGBTQ DREAMers living in the United States with about 36,000 who have participated in the DACA program. A poll conduct by Morning Consult just this month showed that nearly 8 out of 10 Americans supported allowing DREAMers to permanently remain in this country.
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