Sept. 5, 2017 – The following are reactions from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, and Juan Escalante, DACA recipient and America’s Voice Digital Campaigns Manager, reacting to the announcement that the Trump administration is ending DACA. DHS will immediately stop accepting applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and will stop renewing current beneficiaries in March 2018.
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund:
Today, President Trump has formally ended the DACA program that gave hope and a future to hundreds of thousands of young people who are American in every way except their legal status. In an act of moral and political cowardice, Trump reached a new low of malice by crushing the dreams of 800,000 young people who are as American as you and I. After mainstreaming white nationalism in his response to Charlottesville and undermining our justice system with his pardon of racist Joe Arpaio, Trump has turned his hate on the young men and women who we have come to know as “Dreamers.” Their dreams have now turned into a nightmare under this dark and soulless President. How America treats Dreamers is a moral test that goes beyond party labels and cuts to the questions of who we are as a people and what we aspire to be as a country. Dreamers are Americans. They grew up in this country, they’ve graduated from schools and have gone to work in America. Their dreams are made in America. Now their futures are under threat.
No one should fall for the White House spin that there was a modicum of humanity embedded in their decision today. There is no middle ground or equivocation when it comes to Dreamers. It’s a time for choosing, and we all should stand with Dreamers in today, their time of need, and push Congress to advance a clean, bipartisan, and permanent bill to extend the protections and opportunities they deserve and we all benefit from.
Juan Escalante, DACA recipient and America’s Voice Digital Campaigns Manager:
We didn’t win DACA or other pro-immigrant policies by cowering in fear or hiding who we are; we won them by standing up for what was right and just, and by providing hundreds of thousands of examples of why America benefits from immigrants of all backgrounds. Like 800,000 others, DACA has helped changed my life and charted a new future for me and my family.
President Trump and anti-immigrant allies can take away my DACA status, but they can’t take away our resolve to keep fighting on behalf of our families and our futures or building off the successes of DACA to this, the next chapter of our struggle.
For the immigrants and Dreamers reading this, I urge you to join me and push back against this attack on our communities. We cannot allow our anxiety and fears to obstruct us from the continued fights ahead of us. The truth is that we are not alone. If you are an ally, a friend, or a decent human being who understands that immigrants work hard, play by the rules and are proud aspiring Americans, please stand with us in the days and weeks ahead. I urge you to also join us in this fight – call your member of Congress today,tomorrow, and every day until they know your name and demand that they co-sponsor the Dream Act. This is the only way to ensure Dreamers can remain in the United States and not serve as targets for Donald Trump’s Deportation Force.
The mission of America’s Voice (AV) and America’s Voice Education Fund (AVEF) is to harness the power of American voices and American values to enact policy change that guarantees full labor, civil and political rights for immigrants and their families. www.americasvoice.org