DACA reactions blast Trump administration
MINNEAPOLIS (Sept. 5, 2017) — Reaction from organizations and elected officials around the country have condemned the Trump Administration’s action to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) program that allows children of undocumented parents a path toward an education and citizenship.
The Minneapolis Foundation is deeply concerned with the Trump administration’s decision today to start to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). This decision runs counter to our community’s proud tradition of welcoming newcomers and could threaten the futures of thousands of young Minnesotans—our friends, neighbors, co-workers, and fellow students—who show their patriotism and passion for American ideals in every facet of their lives.
For decades, The Minneapolis Foundation has supported organizations that provide tools and assistance to help immigrants and refugees thrive in Minnesota. That work includes:
- More than $800,000 in funding that The Minneapolis Foundation has provided in partnership with other foundations and individual donors since 2012 (when DACA was created) for legal services, community outreach and issue education supporting Minnesotans who have been eligible for DACA and are known as “Dreamers.”
- An investment of $100,000 that The Minneapolis Foundation made this year to Solidarity MN, a collaborative of Minnesota foundations that is investing in organizations that are working to meet the unique needs of immigrant and refugee families.
In addition, to help meet the urgent needs of Minnesota “Dreamers” and their families, The Minneapolis Foundation will issue two special grants this week: a grant of $75,000 to the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, and $25,000 to Navigate MN. These grants are made in recognition of the leadership and ongoing collaborative efforts of these two organizations.
“Our community’s diversity is one of its greatest strengths, and it’s hard to overstate the contributions that new Minnesotans make in our schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods every single day,” said R.T. Rybak, president and CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation. “For many years, The Minneapolis Foundation has strongly supported young people seeking to build a future in the United States, and we will continue to stand firmly with them today, and tomorrow.”
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-5) released the following statement today after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced President Trump would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“President Trump abandoned the Dreamers today, but Congress must not. I urge Congress to immediately support a long-term solution for participants of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. I also call on the Trump administration to forego all enforcement action against Dreamers.
“President Trump’s decision to terminate the DACA program is a devastating betrayal of the hundreds of thousands of youth who placed their trust in our government. For the past five years, DACA has provided a pathway to hope and prosperity for nearly 800,000 young people across our nation, including almost 6,300 youth in Minnesota. DACA recipients make up the very fabric of our communities – as parents, students, veterans, law clerks, teachers, and more – and have lived almost their entire lives as Americans. The President’s decision will damage their futures and tear families apart. It is cruel and un-American.
“Nearly 80 percent of the general public supports permanent legal status for Dreamers. Despite overwhelming bipartisan support for DACA youth, the President is catering to people who are extremist and prejudiced. President Trump cannot separate his decision to coddle the neo-Nazis and the KKK in Charlottesville from his cruel decision to slam the door in the face of Dreamers. It’s what he means when he says “Make America Great Again.” Taken as a whole, his presidency represents a step backwards to the bad old days before “liberty and justice for all” was a commonly accepted idea.
“To our neighbors who are part of DACA: no matter what extremists say, you’re a part of our American family. If you’re here, you deserve to live your life without fear and prejudice. Every American has a moral imperative to fight back against extremism, xenophobia, and racism. We must stand strong with all immigrant families, through DACA and beyond, and keep fighting for an immigration system that is fair and inclusive to all.”
Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) Superintendent Ed Graff released the following statement regarding today’s decision on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals:
“Minneapolis Public Schools, like many school districts, organizations and businesses in Minnesota and nationwide, is made better by the immigrants who work and learn in our schools.
Many of these immigrants, often referred to as “Dreamers,” came to this country as children and have benefitted from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) order signed in 2012. DACA shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation and its recipients have been allowed to obtain valid driver’s licenses, enroll in college and legally secure jobs.
We are gravely concerned and stand with the leaders of many large urban school districts around the nation in speaking out against today’s White House announcement that the DACA program will be ended — whether now or in six months. We join with those leaders in asking Congress to act quickly to pass legislation to protect the DACA provisions and remove the uncertainty facing so many of our students and families.
Today I know that many MPS employees, students and families are experiencing fear, uncertainty, anger and disappointment. Please know you continue to have the support of MPS as the implications of today’s announcement unfold. Please know you can come to work or school tomorrow and receive the same support and educational services that you did before this decision was announced. We continue to believe the words of our Board of Education, which stated in January that the role of a school district is not to ask about the citizenship or immigration status of any of its students or families. Our role is to educate students and we can only do that if our students and employees feel safe.
We urge MPS students and employees affected by today’s announcement to know your rights. Many sites and places offer up-to-date information:
- MPS’s Multilingual department offers the following school-related information: http://multilingual.mpls.k12.mn.us/resources_for_immigrants
- The Immigrant Law Center of MN operates an Immigrant and Refugee Rights Helpline to connect community members with a free legal consultation. The Helpline is available for immigrants and refugees living in MN whose household income is below 250% of the federal poverty level. Flyers with more information are available in English, Spanish, and Somali (PDF).
- Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid offers free civil legal assistance to low-income community members in many areas of law, including immigration.
- Directory of Immigration Legal Services in Minnesota from the Immigration Advocates Network”
Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman today released the following statement in response to President Trump’s decision to end DACA:
“President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is not only an attack on our immigrant youth, it is an attack on our values. DACA has provided hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth the opportunity to live, work and get an education without fear of deportation. Today DACA recipients are our friends, our neighbors, our students; tomorrow they’re our nurses, our engineers and our small-business owners. Ending DACA goes against the principles this country was built upon and the values for which it stands.”
“The President’s decision is yet another outrageous assault on our most vulnerable communities in Saint Paul, and I urge Congress to act swiftly to preserve current protections of the program to ensure that the hundreds of thousands of Dreamers in our country are able to live free from fear and achieve their highest potential.”
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) was appalled to hear Attorney General Jeff Sessions announce this morning that the Trump administration is ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protection for the roughly 800,000 young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. Under this 2012 program initiated by President Obama, individuals were granted a temporary reprieve from deportation and work authorization if they met age and residence requirements, and completed a certain level of education and military service. Without DACA, the United States will face enormous human and economic costs.
In response to today’s announcement, Margaret Fung, AALDEF Executive Director, said: “After several days of anxiety, DACA beneficiaries and their allies are struck by the cruelty of this action. Despite President Trump’s promise to treat DACA recipients with ‘great heart,’ his administration has decided to pursue a heartless and blatant attack on the young immigrants and their families who contribute to and strengthen our country every day.”
As an Asian American civil rights organization, AALDEF has been providing direct legal representation to Asian undocumented youth and has trained pro bono attorneys to take on DACA cases. Annie Wang, a staff attorney in AALDEF’s Immigrant Access to Justice program, said: “As a formerly undocumented person who has worked closely with individuals to determine whether they were eligible for DACA, I’ve seen firsthand how this program has transformed the lives of my clients. Thanks to DACA, these young people have been able to pursue higher education, find meaningful employment, help their families, and otherwise more fully contribute to our society.”
In a memorandum issued today, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it will reject all new requests filed after Sept. 5, 2017 but will continue to process pending renewal or initial requests, as well as the renewal requests of DACA recipients whose current benefits will be expiring on March 5, 2018.
During this period, AALDEF will advise existing DACA clients about other immigration options and assist eligible individuals with renewing their deferred action and work authorization. We also plan to collaborate with community groups to provide information to individuals who already have DACA.
As the DACA program is being wound down over the next six months, AALDEF is calling on Congress to move forward legislation that will protect undocumented youth. A long-term legislative fix for DACA recipients and the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States would make communities and our country safer and stronger.
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), founded in 1974, is a national organization that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans. By combining litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing, AALDEF works with Asian American communities across the country to secure human rights for all.
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2) released the following statement in response to the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is wrong. It will break up families and punish young people who were brought to this country as minors through no choice or fault of their own. These are people who have grown up in the United States, and who know no other country to be their home. DACA transformed the lives and futures of hundreds of thousands of young people, in Hawaii and across the country. Because of DACA they’ve been able to go to college, find a job, support their family, serve their country, and live free from the constant fear of deportation.
“In my home state of Hawaii, DACA has allowed more than 600 young people to remain legally in our country and contribute to our economy and society, including a member of my staff who came to the United States as a minor from Zimbabwe. Last week on Maui, I had the opportunity to hear from some of Hawaii’s DREAMers and hear their heart-wrenching stories about living in fear and in the shadows until DACA was put into effect. They cried as they shared their stories of the opportunity and freedom they have experienced because of DACA, and the fear of uncertainty in what lies ahead with the prospects of being forced to leave the only home they’ve ever known. Congress must act now to enact a permanent solution for these DREAMers and pass the bipartisan DREAM Act now.”
U.S. Rep. Ted W. Lieu (CA-33 — Los Angeles County) issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“As an immigrant to the United States brought here when I was three years old, I know that our nation’s embrace of immigrants is what makes it great. Trump’s cowardly decision to end DACA goes against the very forces that have made America an exceptional country. Deporting hundreds of thousands of Asians and Latinos—nearly half of whom were brought to the U.S. before the age of 7—is not only cruel, it will hurt our economy. One report estimates an economic loss of $460 billion over the next decade. I stand firmly with my Democratic colleagues to fight this action and do whatever we can to protect DREAMers. I call on Speaker Ryan to work with Democrats to extend the DACA program through legislation.”
oday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump Administration’s decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements:
Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC)
U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:
“The Trump Administration’s decision to rescind DACA is a cruel and devastating blow to the nearly 800,000 young Americans currently enrolled in the program. This indefensible action is an open attack on America’s immigrant communities and undermines our core values as a nation. By definition, DREAMers contribute to the economy and obey our laws. By ending the DACA program, President Trump betrays his true motives. This is not about the economy or crime; rather he only seeks to further his xenophobic, anti-immigrant agenda, which continues to tear families apart.
“DREAMers are deeply woven into the fabric of our nation, including the many undocumented Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who arrived in the United States as children through no fault of their own. Thanks to DACA, many of these DREAMers have been able to come out of the shadows, give back to their communities, contribute to our society, and strengthen our nation. Targeting these individuals for deportation is both morally reprehensible and disruptive to our economy. Further, we will not be extorted by this danger and allow these Americans to be used as bargaining chips to further the President’s anti-immigrant goals, including the construction of an immoral and divisive border wall.
“I call upon Republican leadership in Congress to join with Democrats to take immediate action to protect our nation’s DREAMers. There are already bipartisan, bicameral proposals like the DREAM Act of 2017 which are ready to be voted on. We must pass a permanent legislative solution to ensure that our nation’s DREAMers can continue to pursue their dreams without fear of deportation.”
U.S. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (HI):
“After months of empty rhetoric to the contrary, the President took the cruel and unnecessary step to eliminate DACA – exposing more than 800,000 young people to deportation. They are not criminals. They are inspiring young people aptly called DREAMers because of their dream of making a better life for themselves in the only country they know.
“Ending DACA is the latest step this President has taken to attack minority communities and stoke the fear and divisiveness that served as pillars of his campaign and inform his presidency.
“By shirking his responsibility to exercise prosecutorial discretion by upholding DACA, the President puts the onus on Congress to act. Congress must take appropriate action to provide permanent legal status to DREAMers.
“I want to be clear: I reject any effort to hold these young people hostage for an unnecessary waste of money like Donald Trump’s wall.
“I will continue to stand with these inspiring young people and groups all across the country to fight this latest cruel and totally unjustifiable action by the President.”
U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), CAPAC Immigration Task Force Chair:
“President Trump is destroying the future of nearly 800,000 young men and women who were brought here by their parents and know no other country but this one. After toying with their futures and raising their hopes with talk of his ‘big heart,’ Donald Trump has shown exactly what his priorities are. He has once again sided with hate and xenophobia, putting in place a repeal that is cruel, inhumane and unjust.
“Over the last five years, DACA has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who came to this country as children. This doesn’t even account for the ripple effect it has had on the family and friends of DACA recipients or the positive impact of DACA on our society more broadly. Across the nation, companies, schools and communities have greatly benefited from the talent, skill and unique perspective of the young people granted DACA status in America. The moral cost of repealing DACA is immeasurable. Economically, our country will lose $460.3 billion in GDP over the next decade from this repeal.
“I call on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to immediately pass stand-alone legislation to protect Dreamers.
“Let me be clear: Our immigrant brothers and sisters are here to stay. Not only are they welcome in our communities – they are essential to our communities. I will continue to fight alongside Dreamers and the immigrant rights movement. I ask my Republican colleagues to consider which side of justice they wish to be on, and join us in passing legislation to protect Dreamers once and for all.”
Take Action Minnesota:
Today, the Trump Administration announced its decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. Since President Obama ordered the measure, approximately 800,000 youth who are undocumented, or Dreamers as they’ve called themselves, have been protected from being deported from the United States. Many have lived here most of their lives. Thousands of Minnesota Dreamers await further action from Congress. TakeAction Minnesota released the following statement:
“We believe in a Minnesota where all people feel safe to live in their communities, to thrive, and to belong. TakeAction Minnesota stands in solidarity with undocumented youth and their families – people who have made this country their home and who should have the opportunity to realize their dreams.
President Trump’s decision to end DACA has fueled fear across our state—for our friends, families, neighbors, classmates, and colleagues. With the legal status of Dreamers left in the hands of Congress, Minnesota’s Congressional Delegation must stand up for members of our community, and for unity.”
We urge Minnesotans to join Navigate MN and other partners at a march and rally today at 4 p.m., starting at the GOP headquarters in Minneapolis.
TakeAction Minnesota is a statewide, multiracial people’s organization fighting for democracy and equity through organizing, political action, and campaigns. The organization has offices in St. Paul and Duluth.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice:
LOS ANGELES — Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. No new DACA applications will be processed after today, and the program will be terminated in March 2018. Since its creation in 2012, DACA has transformed the lives of nearly 800,000 young people by providing temporary relief from deportation and a work permit.
In response, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a national affiliation of five civil rights organizations, issues this statement:
After our government had asked these young people to come forward and put their trust in the government, it is inhumane for our government to strip these young people of the protections DACA has provided. By phasing out DACA, this administration has failed to show moral leadership.
DACA is a humane and common-sense policy solution that has a firm legal basis. For the past five years, Advancing Justice has fought for and served thousands of Asian, Pacific Islander, Latino, African and other DACA applicants and recipients, and we are appalled by the president’s lack of humanity and compassion.
Today’s action by the administration to terminate DACA underscores its pursuit of an agenda rooted in hate and inhumanity. This decision will affect close to 800,000 young people causing many to lose jobs, drop out of school, face the prospects of deportation and have other destabilizing effects on themselves, their families, and the communities of which they are a part.
President Trump has assured DACA recipients in the past that they did not need to worry. By changing his mind now, he has shown that he is clearly influenced by a white supremacist agenda, which is also evident in his multiple actions that target reducing immigration options for predominantly Asian, Latino, and African immigrants.
The administration’s action flies in the face of real facts and data, which shows that the DACA program has been a lifeline for young DACAmented immigrants as well as a benefit to both local and national economies. Pushing these young people back underground will create economic turmoil for our nation. It also directly contradicts the desire of the majority of Americans, as 8 out 10 voters want a more permanent solution for these young immigrants.
Among the DACA recipients affected by today’s action are many Asian immigrants. Between 2012 and 2017, over 16,000 young Asian immigrants received protection under DACA and, of the Asian immigrants who are undocumented, over 120,000 were eligible for DACA.
Advancing Justice is calling upon Congress to do what the administration has failed to do. It is incumbent upon our Senators and Representatives to enact a permanent legislative solution that would once and for all protect our DACA recipients and place them on a pathway to citizenship. Congress needs to pass the DREAM Act immediately.
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is outraged at President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program.
Though the program has been rescinded, current beneficiaries of the DACA program will not be affected until March 5, 2018. Within these six months, it will be up to Congress to pass new legislation regarding the future of these DREAMers and other immigrants. However, no new applications to DACA will be accepted.
“We are outraged that President Trump eliminated the DACA program. Despite bipartisan and overwhelming American support, President trump still condemned over 100,000 DREAMers to deportation. In light of the President’s failure, Congress must swiftly pass the DREAM Act or similar legislation. There needs to be policies that lay out a clear path to citizenship, and separate local law enforcement from federal immigration enforcement. OCA will work with our community partners to fight to protect undocumented communities,” said Vicki Shu, OCA National Vice President of Public Affairs.
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national organization of community advocates dedicated to the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPIs.)
Center for American Progress
STATEMENT: “We Will Not Stop Until We Win Permanent Protection for Dreamers,” says CAP Action’s Neera Tanden Reacting to Trump Ending DACA
Washington, D.C. — Today, the Trump administration ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative, which has protected nearly 800,000 young people from facing deportation and allowed them to go to college, get better jobs, and better support their families and communities since it was instituted by President Barack Obama in 2012. Neera Tanden, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, issued the following statement in response:
The decision to rip DACA away from nearly 800,000 young people to comply with the fictitious deadline set forth by the attorney general of Texas is among the most destructive and heartbreaking actions performed by President Trump since he took office—and that’s saying a lot for an administration that has done so much damage and torn apart so many communities in eight months. President Trump has acted heartlessly and lied about the way he would deal with the status of these young people, going back on his promise to “show great heart” toward them. Dreamers are our neighbors, our fellow students, our colleagues at work, and we will fight this action. While this may energize President Trump’s most anti-immigrant supporters, particularly coming on the heels of his shameful pardon of the infamous former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, it does not reflect the views of the majority of Americans who believe Dreamers should be given the chance to live permanently in the United States, the country they call home—and for many, the only home they’ve ever known. Make no mistake: This is not the end of the fight, but the beginning. We will not stop until we win permanent protection for Dreamers. We call on Congress to take immediate action to bring to the floor a clean version of the bipartisan Dream Act to prevent any further disruption and anxiety to their lives, and so that Dreamers may have an opportunity to seek permanent status and citizenship, and continue having a positive impact on our great nation.
- CAP Action’s Dream Act Toolkit
- Survey: DACA Recipients Economic and Educational Gains Continue to Grow, by the Center for American Progress, the National Immigration Law Center, United We Dream, and Tom K. Wong of the University of California, San Diego
- Study: The Impact of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program Repeal on Jobs, by the Center for American Progress and FWD.us
- Analysis: A New Threat to DACA Could Cost States Billions of Dollars, by the Center for American Progress
The Center for American Progress Action Fund is the sister advocacy organization of the Center for American Progress. The Action Fund transforms progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world. The Action Fund is also the home of the Progress Report.