The following letter was sent to Donald Trump, on behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and numerous organizatoins, regarding the Obama administration's executive action on 'Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" ("DACA").
The coalition joins a growing chorus of advocates, including outgoing President Obama in his final press conference, sounding the alarm on behalf of the 750,000 enrolled Dreamers in the DACA program. DACA enrollees are undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children, grew up in this country, have registered with the federal government, submitted to background checks, paid fees, and have worked to obtain an education.
“Any move to deport Dreamers would be even worse,” the groups wrote. “It is beyond question that the American public supports reasonable and fair immigration reforms, ones that include putting unauthorized immigrants on a path to citizenship – and this public would be deeply troubled by a decision to expel immigrants who, having arrived as minor children, have acted fully consistently with the best of American values and who are, for all intents and purposes, American.”
The groups also call for the passage of the bipartisan BRIDGE Act which, while no substitute for comprehensive immigration reform, would codify protections for Dreamers. “We shouldn’t be rounding up young people who are contributing to our country in school, in the workforce, and in the military,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “It’s a moral, economic, and patriotic imperative to lets these young Americans continue to be Americans.”
Excerpt from the letter:
The DACA program, first announced in June 2012, provides a measure of common sense and compassion to immigrants who were brought to this country as children, have grown up here, and cannot rationally be blamed for their lack of legal immigration status. Since the program was first announced in 2012, approximately 750,0001 young adults who grew up in this country have registered with the federal government, submitted to background checks, paid fees, and have worked to obtain an education. In return, DACA recipients are granted a two-year reprieve from the threat of deportation, work authorization, and the ability to move on with their lives – making valuable contributions to the communities in which they live, to the businesses that rely on their skills and their willingness to work hard, and to our economy and social fabric as a whole. Many have gone on to raise families of their own, and a number of them have even volunteered to serve in our military. Simply put, DACA recipients are among the most sympathetic and compelling cases that exist under our immigration system today.
Read the full letter at CivilRights.org.