WASHINGTON, D.C. Sept. 4, 2017- The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) condemned reported plans that the Trump Administration will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program with a six-month enforcement delay. This decision would leave the lives and dreams of nearly 800,000 hardworking DACA recipients hanging from the thread of an unspecified, hoped-for legislative solution. Congress has several legislative alternatives to consider, such as the American Hope Act and the Dream Act, which have been introduced by Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress that would protect the Dreamers. The President should endorse these proposals and ensure a solution is passed before terminating the DACA program.
“Dreamers are the embodiment of the American dream. They were brought to this country as children and have made this nation their home, often contributing in powerful, meaningful ways,” said Annaluisa Padilla, AILA President. She continued, “Nationwide Americans believe Dreamers should be allowed to stay, but President Trump is signaling his disregard for the voting public and exploiting the vulnerability of the Dreamer population in order to keep campaign promises. This is not, as the president promised, treating Dreamers with ‘heart’; it is heartbreaking and shortsighted. The president is bowing to anti-immigrant pressures from his advisors. Congress needs to act and act now.”
AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson added, “Year after year, Dreamers have been championed by the American public because granting legal status to these young people is not only the right thing to do, it also benefits our society and our shared prosperity. Threatening this group of aspiring Americans with deportation from the only country they know as home is reprehensible. A decision to terminate the DACA program would be an abrogation of President Trump’s executive responsibilities. The time for further discussion is at an end. There is growing bipartisan support in the House and Senate for granting these young people permanent residence. Congress must move forward on legislation immediately, and in the meantime, the American public must resist every attempt to end this program.”
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members. www.aila.org