FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Elana Needle, 201-248-9724
Leading Civil Rights and Racial Justice Organizations Condemn Decision to End DACA
Ball Now Squarely in Congress’ Court
WASHINGTON, DC: Today, organizations working to advance civil rights condemn President Trump’s forthcoming decision to either terminate or curtail the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Program, which has protected about 800,000 young people brought to the U.S. as children from deportation. In addition to deferring deportation, DACA has enabled these young people—who are required to come forward, pass a background check, and pay a $495 fee—to obtain jobs, pursue higher education, and otherwise contribute to the nation. Ending DACA threatens recipients with deportation from the only country most have ever known, while precluding hundreds of thousands of others who may be eligible but have not applied from ever obtaining relief.
The civil rights groups urge Congress to step in by acting swiftly to enact bipartisan legislation that would protect all DREAMers from deportation and provide a path to permanent resident status.
Advancement Project, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, PICO Network, Poverty & Race Research Action Council, Race Forward, and UnidosUS are a collaborative of 11 leading national racial equity anchor organizations (the Anchors) supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together we work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing and ensure that all children, families and communities have opportunities to reach their full potential.
Below the Anchors elucidate the negative impacts that a termination or curtailment in DACA will have for Dreamers and communities of color in the United States.
Advancement Project -- National Office
“Trump has already embraced white supremacy, defended it, and institutionalized it in the White House,” said Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project’s national office. “Ending DACA – which exposes young immigrants who grew up in the U.S. to deportation – is but an extension of this effort. When Trump talks about making America great, he means hyper-criminalizing people of color and immigrants – seeing them as less-than-human beings who ought to be removed and erased. Today hurts. But it also shows that Trump does not understand who he is messing with. Dreamers have already built alliances, strengthened movements, upended politics and shaped presidencies. We will stand by them and help turn this moment into momentum that brings deeper and longer-lasting justice.”
Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum
“DACA has allowed immigrant children and young adults to grow, learn, thrive and contribute to their communities without fear of deportation,” said Kathy Ko Chin, President and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. “Doing away with this program takes away opportunities from students who want to learn, employees who want to work, and a generation of young immigrants with fresh ideas. Immigrants and their families are the foundation of our nation’s history and our policies must reflect that.”
“When Donald Trump pardoned former Sheriff Joe Arpaio – a man who sowed fear in immigrants across Arizona – it was clear that he had doubled down on his bigotry. But now, in dismantling DACA, it is abundantly apparent that he is gone all in on promoting hate, division and backwardness. Repealing DACA will jeopardize the lives of the 800,000 young people, who have undergone rigorous background checks and are already active community members. It will break a promise made by the government to these families. It will cut off access to citizenship for generations of black and brown immigrants, in an attempt to white wash our diverse country. This is not something that we will allow. We will join our allies and partners in standing up and speaking out for the children who will be impacted by the decision. We will fight for a better America.”
-- Heather McGhee, President of Demos
Haas Institute For a Fair and Inclusive Society
“This carefully tailored policy targets young people who have grown up in our communities and who have demonstrated significant achievements. To rip these people from their homes, their families, their lives, and from our communities, is to rip our communal fabric in a way that is antithetical to our deepest values as well as to our basic humanity.”
-- john powell, Director, Haas Institute
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
“The NAACP strongly condemns Donald Trump’s decision to terminate DACA while continually embracing a racist agenda, intent upon destroying both dreams and DREAMers,” said Derrick Johnson, NAACP interim President and CEO. “Trump's words, actions and policies represent a frightening reminder of the White House’s strategic abdication of its moral authority in exchange for policies designed to shrink our democracy and divide our nation.”
National Congress of American Indians
“We stand in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters. Tribal communities know too well the impacts of federal policies that rip apart families and attempt to destroy communities. Preserving DACA is fundamentally about fairness and respecting the basic humanity of immigrant youth.”
-- Jacqueline Pata, Executive Director, National Congress of American Indians
PICO National Network
“News that Donald Trump wants to end DACA for some 800,000 recipients is another clear message that after every failure of this administration and every endorsement and perpetuation of white supremacy, the President’s consistent retort is to blame immigrants,” said Eddie Carmona, campaign director for LA RED, an immigrant justice initiative of PICO National Network. “As communities of faith we look to Monsignor Oscar Romero who said, ‘When the church hears the cry of the oppressed it cannot but denounce the social structures that give rise to and perpetuate the misery from which the cry arises.’ As immigrants and allies we will stand up and hear the cry of the oppressed and take action to prevent the "structures" of white supremacy from defeating us. Our communities will not be convenient targets for a President who panders to neo-Nazis and members of the KKK, we will ensure that no one stands alone and that we are together in this fight against the oppressors."
Poverty & Race Research Action Council
"As the current Administration continues to take every possible action to spread and reinforce bigotry and hate, we must work together as a community of immigrants and allies to counter the rhetoric and pursue every legal avenue to protect all families."
-- Phil Tegeler, Executive Director of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council
"Trump's decision to terminate or curtail DACA further illustrates the Administration's continuous and reprehensible assaults on communities of color. This move will only serve to shatter families and drive hundreds of thousands of our future leaders, thinkers, and innovators back into the shadows. We, as a multiracial movement, must safeguard the civil rights of our immigrant youth."
-- Glenn Harris, President, Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation
“Studies show DACA beneficiaries will contribute $460.3 billion to the U.S. economy over the next 10 years. The program enjoys widespread public support. It is a disgrace that the president has abused the power of his office to pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio—who engaged in systematic racial profiling and then refused to comply with court orders to end the practice—rather than to protect DACA youth, who have done everything that America has asked of them.”
-- Clarissa Martinez De Castro, Deputy Vice President of UnidosUS.