More voices across the nation, including faith leaders; editorial boards; community leaders; and elected officials, remind us of the great success of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, as President Trump weighs whether to stand with the vast majority of Americans who understand and support the program or with hardline forces inside and outside the Administration, such as AG Jeff Sessions, Representative Steve King (R-IA), and Texas AG Ken Paxton, vying for the end of DACA.
The Center for New Community released a new resource showcasing the origins of the attack on DACA: anti-immigrant organizations with ties to racist extremists. “For years, anti-immigrant groups have advocated to strip DACA recipients of their work permits and make them more vulnerable to deportation. They are also at the center of the latest assaults on young immigrants.”
More than 1,850 leaders, including eight governors, five state attorneys general, more than 130 mayors, 230 state legislators, and a slew of faith leaders, judges, police chiefs and sheriffs signed onto a “We Are With Dreamers” statement to stand with Dreamers in support of DACA. Read more here.
A bipartisan cohort of Mayors, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D); Immigration Reform Task Force Co-Chairs Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza (D) and Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait (R);Conference Trustee Meza Mayor John Giles (R);Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (D); St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson (D); Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (D); and the U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran, all voiced their support for the DACA program and urged President Trump to continue the program. View more statements here.
In Newark, NJ, faith leaders joined advocates and immigrants in front of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices for a rally in defense of DACA and TPS and to encourage bipartisan action from Congress.
Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez published a new essay, “Moving forward on immigration,”contending that “deportation alone is not an immigration policy” and that ending DACA would be “tragic.”
The Sun Sentinel editorial board called on President Trump and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) to show courage and leadership and to defend DACA, instead of using Dreamers as political pawns.
The Bloomberg View editorial board called Trump’s silence on DACA and Dreamers “unproductive and cruel”: “There is no good reason to deny Dreamers’ participation in American life, and to deny Americans the benefits of Dreamers’ participation in the economy. In a world of complicated trade-offs, easing the path of Dreamers into education, employment and citizenship is an easy call. Trump should keep the promise to Dreamers. And Congress should pass the Dream Act of 2017 to secure it.”
The Los Angeles Times editorial board called the potential end of DACA an “inhumane act” and highlighting the current moral crossroads for President Trump: “He can show compassion for deserving people who have in many cases lived most of their lives among us. Or he can follow the darker impulses of some of his supporters, and shatter the dreams of hundreds of thousands of people who have done us no harm, and who could do us much good.”
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) kicked off a weeklong event series, organized by the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights and the California Dream Network, with a pledge to defend DACA. As reported by CBS Los Angeles, Sen. Harris explained, “if the vast majority of people who are expressing opinions about this issue had the opportunity to meet our Dreamers, they would understand it’s just the right thing to do.”
A new Vox piece from DACA-recipient and AVEF Digital Campaign Manager Juan Escalante serves as a powerful and personal testimony to the impacts of DACA: “I remember feeling a sense of relief when my work permit arrived in February 2013. My DACA had just been approved, and all I could think about was the amount of possibilities that would be immediately available to me. I would be able to go to school without fear of deportation, get a paying job with benefits, and feel like my life had purpose once again — no longer was I bound by the fear and anxiety that plagued me for years. Now, even if for two-year intervals at a time, I would be able to seek out new and better opportunities to improve myself and my community.”