Angelica Salas: Cruel and Unusual Punishment for a Generation of Dreamers

LOS ANGELES, CA, Sept. 5, 2017 – The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), the largest immigrant rights organization in California, expressed disgust and outrage at the announcement that DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program which protects nearly 900,000 young immigrants from deportation, will be ended by the Trump Administration.

The following are comments for Angelica Salas, CHIRLA Executive Director.
“President Trump has cowardly put an end to a golden opportunity for so many young, promising immigrants.  With a nod to the white nationalist agenda, the Trump Administration has killed the only available immigration relief option for this vibrant and bilingual cohort of young people who contribute in so many ways to the strength and vigor of this country.
Ending DACA is cruel and unusual punishment targeting a vulnerable population who has done everything in their power to belong and give back to the only country they know as home.
For nearly 900,000 young immigrants, DACA signifies a lifeline, a shining beacon of hope in the midst of a shadowy immigration limbo perpetuated by politics, xenophobia, and a cruel anti-immigrant stance by Republicans in Congress.
For decades, we have guided all these young people in the path of rightfulness, taught them to be responsible, and to believe in their government.   Today, the United States of America has failed and betrayed a whole generation of young people and history will sternly judge the President who presided over this cruelty.
Thus far, we do not know the specifics of how DACA will be terminated.  We know for certain the absence of this protection will mean a serious disruption to these young people’s lives, anxiety in their communities, and a loss for employers, large and small, and the local, state and national economies which have come to depend on the contributions of DACA recipients.  Today, President Trump is sentencing these young men and women to live shrouded by the ugly world of politics, holding them hostage for a more nefarious and dastardly purpose:  more money to fund a vanity wall and more enforcement to deport even more immigrants.
President Trump has flagrantly sullied our American values and ideals with this decision.  But Congress has failed to pass the DREAM Act not once but three times and it has refused to approve comprehensive immigration reform for nearly two decades.  Will Congress feel compelled this time around to act and approve a clean, stand-alone bill to protect and bring justice to young immigrants and their families?  Let’s hope so.
We will keep up the fight for a fair and humane immigration system and we will carry the torch of strength and resistance which has been the hallmark of the young immigrant rights movement.   CHIRLA has worked with young immigrants for a decade and a half and we will feed off your passion and incredible unwillingness to give up your hopes, aspirations, and dreams, which as it turns out, are also America’s.”

www.CHIRLA.org

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