Commentary

Scathing condemnation pours in for Trump’s latest disastrous decision attacking young immigrants

Ho hum — another week, another disastrous decision from the Trump administration to punish good people with cruel and inhumane public policy. Here are some reactions to the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the DACA program that has allowed 800,000+ young immigrant kids to come out of the shadows and contribute mightily to American and North Carolina economies:

From the North Carolina immigrant advocacy organization, El Pueblo:

El Pueblo is greatly saddened and disappointed in the President’s choice to rescind DACA, a highly successful program that has provided brighter futures for nearly 800,000 children and young adults nationwide.  This decision will cause irreparable harm to our communities and to the economy, as our friends, neighbors and coworkers will grapple with the possibility of being permanently separated from their families.  A majority of the youth who have been positively affected by DACA know no other home besides the United States and it is disheartening to see their president tell them that they are no longer welcome to build their lives here and enrich our country.  While this news is disheartening, it is not surprising, as other policies rooted in white supremacy and xenophobia continue to dominate the national and local policy debates. El Pueblo continues to believe in the strength, knowledge, and resilience of young people and will not let this setback deter us from continuing our work towards building strong communities where all are welcome and valued for their dignity as human beings.

From the National Immigration Law Center:

This is a defining moment for our country. We are being called upon to choose which side of history we are on: Are we going to stand with young people who have grown up in our country and are striving to achieve their dreams? Or are we going to allow policymakers to erect barriers that block youth from contributing their best to this country, which is their home?

President Trump allowed DACA to continue for his first seven months in office. He told young immigrant people that they could ‘rest easy’ and not fear deportation. Now Trump has bowed to his anti-immigrant advisors and base—putting politics above people, hate above reason.

This is a morally bankrupt choice. Trump’s decision to pull the rug out from under nearly a million young people who are contributing to their communities across the country will only serve to destabilize these young people, their families, and their communities.

From the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights:

President Trump’s decision to end DACA in six months is inhumane, cruel and shameful. There is no legal, ethical, or moral justification for ending DACA, which is a lawful program. President Trump manufactured this unnecessary crisis.  Congress must now act immediately to pass the Dream Act without any partisan, divisive amendments to permanently protect these young people who make our country stronger every day.

Ending DACA will devastate the lives of young men and women who have essentially known no home other than America. This is the latest in a series of mean-spirited, politically-motivated actions by President Trump that further corrodes his morally bankrupt administration and furthers an agenda supported by White supremacists and bigots. The president should be supporting efforts to create a legal path to allowing Dreamers to stay – not kicking them to the curb. At every turn, the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant, anti-civil rights agenda hurts the vulnerable among us and ultimately, the American dream.

This administration often talks about law and order, but ending DACA does not make us safer. DACA recipients already undergo a background check to ensure that they are not a threat to public safety. Sending people deeper into the shadows will only hurt our economy, make our communities less safe, and darken the indelible stain on the Trump administration.

From the North Carolina Justice Center:

The Administration’s recent announcement comes on the heels of President Trump’s pardon of the former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was held in contempt by a federal court for defying that court’s order to cease his practice of violating the Constitutional rights of Latinos detained in his jail. These acts present a disturbing pattern of diminishing the value and accomplishments of Latino and immigrant communities in our country.

In North Carolina, the DACA program has helped approximately 28,000 individuals, many of whom graduated from state schools and used DACA to continue their education, work to support their families, and otherwise contribute to the economic prosperity of our state. The President’s actions not only harm the individuals who benefitted from DACA, but will also jeopardize the economic well-being of all North Carolinians as thousands of these workers lose their jobs. DACA recipients will be forced back into the underground economy – making them vulnerable to exploitation – in turn driving down wages and working conditions for all workers.

Nationwide, there are 800,000 brave young DACA adults. This country is their home; placing them at risk of deportation is morally wrong and is a betrayal of our values as a nation.

Of course, the solution now lies in the hands of Congress, who must support bipartisan efforts to protect DACA recipients in the next six months. We urge Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr to join other members of Congress and pass an unconditional bill that protects these young immigrants from being deported to countries they don’t even recognize.

From the ACLU of North Carolina:

The Trump administration today announced it will move to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The DACA program has served as a critical lifeline for nearly 800,000 young immigrants, or “Dreamers,” who came to this country as children and know the United States as their only home.

More than 27,000 young people in North Carolina have received DACA, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina is asking those affected by the decision to contact the organization.

“President Trump is cruelly throwing the lives and futures of 800,000 Dreamers, their families, and their communities into disarray,” said Irena Como, Staff Attorney for the ACLU of North Carolina. “In North Carolina, tens of thousands of our friends and neighbors have used DACA to contribute to the economy, get an education, and invest in the only home they know. Today the federal government has turned its back on these young people who came out of the shadows and worked hard to build their lives here. Congress must now act to provide permanent relief for Dreamers. The ACLU and our coalition partners are also exploring every possible measure to defend the rights of Dreamers to live and remain in the country that is their home.”

Among those who received DACA in North Carolina is Yazmin Garcia Rico, a Masters of Social Work candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“For me and thousands of other young people in North Carolina, DACA has been nothing short of life changing,” said Garcia Rico. “DACA has given me the chance to open a bank account, buy a car, and pursue my dreams while investing in my community. Revoking this program will mean that hundreds of thousands of young people could lose their ability to drive, to work, and to continue living in the country where we grew up and have established our lives. We are active and productive members of American society – we should not be forced back into the shadows.”

 

 

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