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DACA-Recipients, Legal Experts & Advocates Call On Paxton and Trump to Focus on Building Our Country, Not Targeting Dreamers

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A recording of today’s call is available here

On a press call today, immigration advocates, legal experts, and DACA recipients assessed a busy week of developments. From the preliminary injunction on Texas’s SB4 to ongoing attention to the future of DACA and DACA recipients, the speakers provided key analysis and updates on the state of play on these key immigration policy issues. A recording of today’s call is available here. 

Nina Perales, Vice President of Litigation, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said:

As Judge Garcia explained in his opinion, ‘Texas cannot – through state law – expand the limited circumstances in which local enforcement officials may perform the functions of immigration officers.’  SB4 was enjoined because no state can constitutionally draft local police officers into the role of federal immigration agents.

Greisa Martinez Rosas, DACA-recipient and Advocacy Director, United We Dream, said:

People have said that Trump’s decision on DACA will define the future of immigrant youth. But I’m here to say, we define our own future. We defined it when we fought and won DACA, when we came out of the shadows and applied for our protections and we will continue to define it by fighting for our rights. United We Dream will always create spaces where immigrant youth and people of color can live as their full authentic selves and win real policy changes that promote those ideals. 

Oscar Hernandez, Organizer, United We Dream Houston, said:

No matter what happens today, tomorrow or the next day, we continue our fight for our people, because whether it be brutal storms, hateful laws or racist politicians – when immigrant communities are under attack – we rise up, we fight back, and we win. 

Efren Olivares, Racial & Economic Justice Director, Texas Civil Rights Project, said:

From the beginning of the legal fight against SB4, this discriminatory and anti-immigrant law, we’ve been focused on the bringing the voices of community organizations working every day with directly impacted communities. The court highlighted the ample evidence from local elected and law enrichment officials, as well as community organizations, that SB4 would erode community trust in the police, and therefore make communities less safe. The fact that the Judge put this in his order, shows the importance of the broader social justice movement on behalf of immigrants’ rights. However, while we fight this law, another threat looms heavy. The administration is reportedly looking at ending the DACA program. Our state officials are primarily at fault and the Attorney General, Ken Paxton, callous decision to target vulnerable communities will not be taken lying down.

Frank Sharry, Executive Director, America’s Voice Education Fund, said:

If the Trump administration decides to end DACA, it will be one of the most disgraceful, cruel, and heartless decisions in modern American politics. To deliberately dash the futures of nearly a million young people, who are in college; working hard; paying taxes; starting businesses; and using their educations in a variety of fields to make huge contributions, would be pointless from a public policy point of view and would reek of boundless xenophobia. Politically, a decision to end DACA would be a blunder of historic proportions that would overwhelm Congress’ fall agenda with immediate calls for a bipartisan Dream Act and pressure on the Republicans to clean up the mess made by the President. Already, before a final announcement has been made, we’re seeing the mobilization of faith groups, educators, business leaders, and elected officials from across the spectrum and the nation. The Administration should expect nothing less than a huge backlash should they decide to trash the futures of young Americans just because they can.