Washington, DC – Today President Donald Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama-era immigration policy that grants deportation relief for undocumented people who were brought to the U.S. as children, known as Dreamers. Established in 2012, DACA currently protects 800,000 immigrants and grants them the right to remain in the U.S. and receive work permits.
As part of Trump’s plan to phase out DACA, the Administration will not consider new applications for legal status dated after September 5. DACA recipients, whose permit will expire before March 5, must apply for a two-year renewal by October 5. Some Dreamers will be eligible for legal status for another two-plus years, while others may lose their legal status as early as March 6.
In response, LULAC National President Roger C. Rocha, Jr. issued the following statement:
“Trump broke his promise to act ‘with heart’ towards the ‘incredible kids’ protected from deportation under DACA. Dreamers are law-abiding young people who bravely emerged out of the shadows, registered with the government, and pursued higher education. Many of them have served in our military, defending our country and our freedom. They fought for us and we must fight for them. These bright young minds make our communities better and our economy stronger, contributing to the growth of our country’s GDP and benefiting all Americans. Deporting DACA recipients could cost the federal government over $60 billion and reduce our economic growth by $280 billion over the next decade. Rescinding DACA is both cruel and bad economic policy.
The President has yet again acted as a catalyst for widespread fear in Latino communities and across the country. Ending DACA just days after issuing presidential pardon to racist convicted criminal Joe Arpaio and as thousands are displaced by a Category 4 storm in Texas, demonstrates moral bankruptcy and sends a clear message that this Administration does not care about Latinos.
An overwhelming 78% of American voters support allowing Dreamers the opportunity to stay in the U.S., including the majority of Trump voters. Yet, the President gave in to pressure from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and nine other states to phase out a policy that helps our nation thrive.
Americans deserve leadership, which upholds our nation’s values and promotes unity over division. Therefore, we are calling upon Congress to pass the DREAM Act immediately. Congress has the power and obligation to reject the President’s decision and instill hope back into our communities. We are also calling upon President Trump to reconsider his decision and to provide flexibilities for DACA recipients to pursue other immigration avenues. In an era where Latinos are forced to live in uncertainty and fear, it is time for our lawmakers to step up and pass a permanent solution to our country’s broken immigration system. Dreamers are America’s children and we will continue to fight until they are given a path to citizenship.”
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.