LOS ANGELES — Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his intent to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and in doing so, he has callously reneged on the government’s commitment to hundreds of thousands of American youth. The DACA program is a critical lifeline for nearly 800,000 young immigrants who came to this country as children. For most, the United States is the only home they’ve ever known.
The following is a statement from Jennie Pasquarella, director of immigrants’ rights for the ACLU of California, reacting to the White House announcement rescinding DACA:
Five years ago, the federal government made a deal with immigrant youth: As long as you meet certain criteria, you can live, study, and work here. Hundreds of thousands of young people came out of the shadows and accepted the government’s offer in good faith. They prospered and thrived as a result.
Today, the Trump administration broke our government’s promise, upending the lives of 800,000 young immigrants and their families, and injecting uncertainty into thousands of homes, schools, and workplaces across America.
In California alone, more than 222,000 young immigrants use their DACA status to give back to this country in innumerable ways: they are our doctors, soldiers, teachers, and students; our neighbors, family, and friends.
Now, the fate of DACA recipients in this nation lies in the hands of Congress. Lawmakers, such as U.S. Reps. Mimi Walters, Edward Royce, and Kevin McCarthy, must decide if they are on the side of young people who are integral to this country’s future or on the side of the racist forces motivating this president to end DACA.
While this is a hard day for our diverse immigrant communities and this nation as a whole, we will continue to work toward the full recognition of these young people as belonging to this nation. Years of courage, sacrifices, and organizing won the DACA program in 2012. Nothing will deter these individuals — who are Americans in every respect — and their key allies in California, such as the Coalition for Humane Immigrants’ Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), the Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Collective (IEIYC), and Orange County Immigrant Youth United (OCIYU), from continuing to work on behalf of their futures and holding those responsible accountable.
The ACLU of California is collaboration of the three affiliates in the state: the ACLU of Northern California, the ACLU of Southern California, and the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties.
This statement is online at: https://www.aclusocal.org/en/press-releases/aclu-california-statement-president-trumps-decision-end-daca