Issue Report ● Immigrationfacebooktwitterbirdemail

Americans Speak Out in Support of DACA, Urge the President to Protect DREAMers

For Immediate Release: 
September 5, 2017
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

This morning, President Trump’s Administration announced its intention to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that has allowed 800,000 young people who have grown up here in the U.S. and only know this country as home to stay here and continue to contribute to the American economy. By making this decision, the Administration has ignored a wide range of support for this program, including Republicans, business leaders, faith-based organizations, education officials, and state and local leaders.

Republicans in Congress have urged the President to protect DREAMers—will they take action?

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI): “I don’t think he should do [end DACA]. I believe that this is something Congress has to fix…” [Politico, 9/1/17]

Reps. Daniel Donovan (R-NY), David Valadao (R-CA), Don Bacon (R-NE), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Jeff Denham (R-CA), Ilena Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL): “We write to express our support for maintaining the protections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for current recipients of the policy…Children brought to the United States at a young age did not have a choice in the matter, they did not willingly seek to violate American statues when they traveled with their families across the borders…Such cases require careful and thoughtful analysis about what is in the best interests of our country.” [Letter to President Trump, 8/22/17]

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT): “I've urged the president not to rescind DACA, an action that would further complicate a system in serious need of a permanent, legislative solution…Like the president, I've long advocated for tougher enforcement of our existing immigration laws. But we also need a workable, permanent solution for individuals who entered our country unlawfully as children through no fault of their own and who have built their lives here… That solution must come from Congress.” [The Hill, 9/1/17]

Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ): “There are 800,000 DACA kids, kids who were brought across the border. The median age, I think, is 6 years old for those 800,000 when they came across the border. They should not be punished for the sins of their parents. That’s just the basic principle that we ought to follow here.” [CNN, 9/3/17]

Senator James Lankford (R-OK): “…We as Americans do not hold children legally accountable for the actions of their parents.” [NBC News, 9/4/17]

Business and technology leaders continue to voice their support for the program, which allows talented DREAMers to work here in the U.S. and contribute to our economy:

Hundreds of business leaders representing a wide range of companies like AT&T, Cisco Systems, General Motors, Google, HP, United Airlines, and Visa:“Dreamers are vital to the future of our companies and our economy. With them, we grow and create jobs. They are part of why we will continue to have a global competitive advantage. We call on President Trump to preserve the DACA program.” [Letter to President Trump, 7/31/17]

Tim Cook, CEO, Apple: “250 of my Apple coworkers are #Dreamers. I stand with them. They deserve our respect as equals and a solution rooted in American values.” [Twitter, 9/3/17]

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook: “I stand with the Dreamers -- the young people brought to our country by their parents. Many have lived here as long as they can remember. Dreamers have a special love for this country because they can't take living here for granted. They understand all the opportunities they have and want nothing more than the chance to serve their country and their community. And Dreamers deserve that chance.” [Facebook Post, 8/31/17]

Brad Smith, President, Microsoft: “Although undocumented, these [DREAMers] grew up in the United States, attended our schools, built careers and started businesses, bought houses, started families and became part of our communities. …Today we know of 27 employees who are beneficiaries of DACA. They are software engineers with top technical skills; finance professionals driving our business ambitions forward; and retail and sales associates connecting customers to our technologies. Each of them is actively participating in our collective mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. They are not only our colleagues, but our friends, our neighbors and valued members of the Microsoft community.” [Blog Post, 8/31/17]

Leaders from faith-based organizations have spoken out about how ending the program would cause serious harm to families and communities across the country:

A coalition of faith leaders, including the Franciscan Action Network, Disciples of Christ, Church World Service, Sisters of Mercy, Leadership Conference of Women Religious: “Faith leaders from multiple Washington-based organizations stood together to show their support and solidarity of young people who receive the protections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. As the Trump administration considers stripping more than 800,000 young people of DACA protections by terminating the program, leaders of faith express their extreme disappointment.” [Release, 8/30/17]

Patrick Carolan, Executive Director, Franciscan Action Network: “Our Catholic faith and Franciscan spirituality demand that we act on our faith. This is why we choose to fast to demonstrate our support of these young people, many of whom were brought to this country at a young age and had no choice. They should not have to be abandoned and separated from the only country they know. We strongly urge Congress to keep DACA as is and work diligently on a common sense path to citizenship, such as the DREAM Act.” [Release, 8/30/17]

Joan Marie Steadman, CSC, Executive Director, Leadership Conference of Women Religious: “The Leadership Conference of Women Religious is deeply troubled by continued threats to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) by the Trump Administration and a coalition of state attorneys general. DACA has provided a common sense path to stability for our families and communities, and a reaffirmation of the values upon which this nation was founded. Ending DACA would cause irreparable harm to families and communities and force 800,000 of our young people back into the shadows. As women of faith we take seriously the gospel call to welcome the stranger and care for those in need. Together with people of good will we will continue to work to ensure that the dignity and rights of our immigrant brothers and sisters are respected.” [Release, 8/30/17]

Jean Stokan, Justice Coordinator for Immigration, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas: “DACA recipients have become some of the most talented and hard-working members of our Mercy educational institutions and the local communities in which we live and serve. We will not stand by as these DACA recipients, as well as other undocumented immigrants and vulnerable groups, are targeted and blamed for the economic and social problems facing this country.” [Release, 8/30/17]

Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director, Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the U.S. and Canada: “DACA and TPS are not just 'protection programs' for recipients, but they benefit us ALL--as nearly ALL of our congregations and institutions have leaders and pastors and neighbors who are recipients and are in our communities, contribute to our economy, and enrich our lives.  Therefore, any effort of the President to rescind the DACA and TPS programs seeks to bully the breath from their lives, and to browbeat our efforts to follow scripture's command for hospitality.”  [Release, 8/30/17]

Leaders in higher education have also spoken out in support of DREAMers in their classrooms who have received study permits through the program:

640 college and university Presidents wrote a statement and letter asking President Trump to uphold his promise to protect and support DREAMers: “To our country’s leaders we say that DACA should be upheld, continued, and expanded. We are prepared to meet with you to present our case. This is both a moral imperative and a national necessity. America needs talent – and these students, who have been raised and educated in the United States, are already part of our national community. They represent what is best about America, and as scholars and leaders they are essential to the future.” [Statement and Letter to President Trump, 11/21/16]

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities: “The nation as a whole greatly benefits from the education and/or employment of regularized DACA recipients. They should be able the make their full contribution as tax-payers, professionals, skilled workers and leaders in the areas of critical importance to the nation’s economy and security. To address current workforce challenges, the U.S. needs to draw on the skills and energy of all immigrants, particularly those who have demonstrated the commitment and determination to excel.” [Letter to President Trump, 8/30/17]

American Council on Education: “…In order to lift this cloud of fear, we ask that you commit to allowing these productive and high-achieving [DREAMers] to continue to work and study while your administration and Congress arrive at a permanent solution. The higher education community is eager to work with you to find a

path forward…” [Letter to President Trump, 3/16/17]

American Association of Colleges and Universities: “AAC&U supports the continuation of protections for students under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.” [Statement, 8/29/17]

State and local officials have spoken out in support of DACA, urging President Trump to support DREAMers:

A letter with hundreds of signatories, including local elected officials and law enforcement officials outlines the “enormous role” DREAMers play in local communities. “[We] are united in declaring that we are with Dreamers and DACA recipients. We recognize their enormous role in our communities and families and their contributions to our schools, workplaces, and shared prosperity as a nation.” [Letter to President Trump, WithDreamers.com]

A letter from 20 Attorneys General: “Mr. President, now is the time to affirm the commitment you made, both to the ‘incredible kids’ who benefit from DACA and to their families and our communities, to handle this issue ‘with heart.’ You said Dreamers should ‘rest easy.’ We urge you to affirm America’s values and tradition as a nation of immigrants and make clear that you will not only continue DACA, but that you will defend it…The cost of not doing so would be too high for America, the economy, and for these young people. For these reasons, we urge you to maintain and defend DACA, and we stand in support of the effort to defend DACA by all appropriate means.”  [Letter to President Trump, 7/21/17]

Democrats in Congress will continue to stand with business leaders, faith leaders, leaders in education and local and state officials to protect DREAMers and push for a permanent legislative solution in the wake of President Trump’s decision.  

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