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Immigrants, Legal Experts & Advocates Condemn Trump’s Reckless Decision to Terminate DACA

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A recording of today’s call is available here

On a press call today, DACA-recipients, legal experts, and advocates provide immediate reaction to Trump’s cowardly, ill-advised, and reckless decision to terminate the DACA program and urged Congress to pass a clean Dream act to protect the undocumented youth. A recording of today’s event is available here.

Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director, National Immigration Law Center, said:

Today is a defining moment for our country and a defining moment for this presidency. President Trump’s decision to terminate the DACA program effective today is nothing short of hypocrisy, cruelty, and cowardice. After telling Dreamers that he had a ‘great heart’ for them and that they could ‘rest easy,’ he hypocritically has decided to terminate the DACA program and leave the fate of the nearly 800,000 young immigrants and their families in the hands of a dysfunctional Congress. We all must act and call on Congress to swiftly enact a bipartisan solution and enact the bipartisan Dream Act. To the 800,000 young people with DACA, we thank you for your leadership and courage, and stand with you and behind you. We at the National Immigration Law Center are committed to fighting in courts and in the Halls of Congress to protect and empower you.

Tom Jawetz, Vice President of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, said:

Today’s announcement to end DACA set a 6-month time bomb for hundreds of thousands of lives. The American people are sick and tired of their government being motivated to action only when faced with a crisis. We get enough of that from the periodic threats to shut down the government and refusal to raise the debt limit. We don’t need the Trump administration to manufacture new crises designed to terrorize immigrant communities. Congress must act now to take up a clean Dream Act and limit the harm that has already been done as a result of this announcement.

Cristina Jimenez, Executive Director, United We Dream, said:

We are outraged by Trump’s decision to end DACA. With this move, Trump is fulfilling a sick white supremacist scheme developed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to terrorize immigrant youth and families. Trump’s plan today is cruel. Only a serial abuser would rationalize delayed violence as acting with a “big heart.” Ending DACA means mass deportation – period. DACA should remain in place until Congress passes legislation to protect immigrant youth without any racist gimmicks! We reject the idea that immigrants must endure more pain so that any group of immigrants can get some relief. Make no mistake – we will not be pushed into the shadows by these racist politicians. This is our home and we are here to stay.

Andy Pincus, Partner, Mayer Brown, (read more from Pincus here) said:

The contention that DACA is unlawful is simply wrong.  DACA rests on long-established executive branch authority – both to defer removal and to grant work authorization – that has been invoked by prior Administrations, Republican and Democratic, for over 50 years.  The DAPA case cited by the Attorney General involved a different program and turned on different factual and legal issues.  Those differences confirm DACA’s legality.  Finally, many Administrations, including this one, have taken executive action in the face of Congress’s decision not to act, and courts routinely reject the argument that Congress’s inaction precludes executive action.

Maria Praeli, DACA recipient, FWD.us Policy Associate, said:

Today, during an announcement that I may be deported back to a country that I haven’t seenin 20 years, the Attorney General of the United States criminalized me, vilified my community, and talked about us as if we don’t matter and if this isn’t our home.  This Administration cannot keep toying with my life and the lives of 800,000 others. We need a clean, bipartisan Dream Act immediately – my life and the lives of hundreds of thousands of others depends on it.

Lorella Praeli, Director of Immigration Policy and Campaigns, American Civil Liberties Union, said:

President Trump’s cruel and heartless decision to end DACA is a manufactured crisis in reaction to an artificial deadline. So, we are not sitting here thanking him for acting with his so-called good heart, but, rather, we are reminding him and the rest of the Republican party that they created this problem. It is on them to step up and ensure that no one has a gap in their time period between a work permit and a legislative solution that creates a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers across country. We need a clean, bipartisan Dream Act, immediately. Today is a cruel day for people like Maria, my sister, and for families across the country. But, we will not despair. We will continue to move forward with the courage and the resilience that our parents taught us. We will fight for all DACA-recipients and our community across the country. To Cristina, Maria, and the other Dreamers: we’ve got your back. America is our country. It is our home, and we’re not going anywhere.