Commentary: Washington, DC – On a press call today, Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) joined immigrants, legal experts, immigrant advocates and faith leaders to call on the Trump Administration to preserve DACA and Congress to protect Dreamers. A recording of today’s event is available here.
Rep. Grijalva recently organized a letter from 156 Members of Congress to President Trump urging him to protect more than 787,000 DACA recipients. The new House letter joins an array of other recent efforts to stand up for the successful and popular DACA program and its recipients in the face of new and coordinated threats from Republican state AGs, with willing allies in the Trump Administration.
Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), said, “In 2012, President Obama temporarily alleviated anxiety for undocumented young adults by granting them the opportunity to apply for DACA and no longer fear being deported. Since then, DREAMers have held jobs, attended school, and contributed to the well-being of our country’s culture and economy. We cannot allow Trump to be coerced by a few Republican Attorney Generals who wish to do away with nearly 800,000 DREAMers who call the U.S home.”
Rev. Traci D. Blackmon, Executive Minister, Justice & Witness Ministries, United Church of Christ, said, “The welcoming of others into this country has never been predicated on what the stranger can do for us, but rather on what we can do together. The currently proposed legislation is an affront to the very thing that does make America great, our rich diversity.”
Kamal Essaheb, Director of Policy & Advocacy, National Immigration Law Center – Immigrant Justice Fund, said, “The decision before Trump is clear—will he cave to Texas’s shameful legal bullying, or will his legal team will be strong enough to do what the American people need: to be the people’s lawyers.”
Adrian Reyna, Director of Membership, United We Dream, said, “The clock is ticking on DACA, so we are mobilizing like never before. We’re putting our bodies on the line and giving everything we have to this fight for our future and for a better country. On August 15th, the 5th anniversary of the day we could first apply for DACA, we are mobilizing in Washington and in cities across the country to ensure that everyone knows that DACA is a success and to shine a light on the actions of this small group of extremist politicians and operatives. We call on all people of conscience to join us and rise up for DACA . Now is the time to stand up for DACA and build a better country – a country where all immigrants and all people can live without fear.”
Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Esq., Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar & Clinical Professor of Law, Penn State Law; Director, Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, said, “The legality of DACA is unquestionable. These legal sources include but are not limited to the Take Care Clause of the U.S. Constitution, multiple sections of the immigration statute, federal regulations and Supreme Court decisions such as Arizona v. United States. Deferred action is one type of prosecutorial discretion in immigration law and has been a tool used by several administrations and over many decades. Nothing about DACA is new – well before the DACA program, thousands of individuals were processed for deferred action and granted such protection for humanitarian reasons. In every case, deferred action decisions are discretionary and result in immigration purgatory.”
Frank Sharry, Executive Director, America’s Voice Education Fund, said, “With DACA, nearly 800,000 individuals have been protected from deportation and provided work permits, and they have turned the opportunity into success for themselves and their families. DACA is currently under attack by Republican officials, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who are trying to force the President’s hand and eliminate DACA. We would love a permanent solution that is as generous and inclusive as possible, but in the meantime, DACA must stay in place so that DACA-recipients do not have their lives turned upside down and be subjected to deportation. Trump has said that he is the decider, and we hope that he makes the right call. If he makes the wrong call it will be up to Congress to pass legislation. Anything less would be a tragedy of historic proportions.”
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