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Immigrant Advocates and Legal Experts Analyze DAPA Immigration Memo and Implications for DACA

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A recording of today’s DAPA immigration event is available here

On a press call today, immigrant advocates and legal experts analyzed the Trump Administration’s latest moves to rescind the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program and the current status of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA).

Technically-speaking, DACA remains in place currently. But, it is still vulnerable, as the Trump Administration says that it has not made a final decision about the policy, and as Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection agents continue to target some young immigrants with DACA status.

The speakers on today’s call expressed lament that instead of implementing common-sense immigration measures, the Administration decided to rescind the DAPA memo, deport long-settled immigrants who have built lives in the United States, and implement a policy of mass deportation.

They also urged the Trump administration to immediately stop targeting, detaining, and deporting DACA-recipients and DACA-eligible youth and called on Congress to take-up long overdue immigration reform. 

A recording of today’s call on the DAPA immigration memo is available here.

Greisa Martinez Rosas, Advocacy Director, United We Dream, said:

I am undocumented, unafraid, and here to stay. Currently, both my little sister and I are DACA-recipients and protected from immediate deportation, for now.  While last night’s memo left DACA unchanged, my mom would have qualified for DAPA. The White House made clear today that they haven’t made a final decision on DACA’s future, and their actions show that we are still vulnerable. Since his campaign, we’ve seen that Trump, and now his administration, have no qualms about lying to or about any of us. We will continue to fight to protect all immigrants and call on policymakers to step up and enact policies to ensure that we are safe and can thrive.

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

While the Trump administration’s decision to rescind DAPA isn’t surprising given its erratic and misguided approach to immigration enforcement, it is nonetheless disappointing to see DHS continue to pursue policies that are clearly intent on trying to frighten immigrants rather than undertake policies that recognize that those parents who would have benefitted from DAPA are helping to raise the next generation of Americans.

Lorella Praeli, Director of Immigration Policy and Campaigns, ACLU, said:

The only certainty in Trump’s America is uncertainty – and no memorandum changes that. They’re trying to distract as with their back-and-forth on DACA as their mass deportation machine proceeds full speed ahead. Jessica Colotl’s case is proof to acting ICE Director Homan’s testimony that all undocumented immigrants are targets for deportation. They recently revoked her DACA for no reason at all, and to protect her, we took them to the courts – where they found that ICE had given no actual reason for putting Jessica at risk for deportation. This is not incompetence, this is intent. We must remain vigilant and will use every tool to protect and advance the rights of Dreamers and all immigrants.

Angelica Salas, Executive Director, CHIRLA, said:

Rather than build on the success of DACA, President Trump and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kelly have chosen to turn their backs on immigrant families and deal the ultimate blow to DAPA. This action demonstrations that the current administration has no compassion, common sense, or humanity. We will put our faith in the American people to uphold our nation’s values of inclusivity and equality.

Ignacia Rodriguez, Immigration Policy Advocate, National Immigration Law Center, said:

Although yesterday’s decision does not affect DACA 2012, the federal government has broken its promise to allow our undocumented youth to live and work without fear in the country they call home. Through hateful rhetoric and careless policymaking, the administration has emboldened its agents to arbitrarily revoke the status, detain, and unlawfully deport DACA-recipients. We won’t stand for this. The administration must respect current DACA-issuances, stop targeting DACA-recipients, and stop painting those impacted by their inhumane policies as liars. We will hold them accountable.