Yesterday, September 5, 2017, the Trump administration ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, commonly known as DACA. This is yet another attack on the immigrant community as he advances his racist, anti-immigrant agenda that has also created the travel ban, increased detentions and deportations, threatened the creation of a border wall, and weakened the rights of immigrant workers.
DACA gave many undocumented young people who had arrived in the United States as young children a work permit and the ability to pursue a higher education. Now the program will no longer accept new applications, all current DACA work permit will remain valid until their expiration date, and if the permit expires before March 5, applicants must renew for another two year permit before October 5.
In the meantime, President Trump has given Congress six months to come up with an immigration reform bill, something that they have been incapable of and unwilling to do for over 15 years.
“Yesterday’s repeal of the DACA program only reveals the depth of racism and xenophobia in our society and its influence over our political system. It is a call to us, immigrant communities and allies together, to name this for what it is and to hold our government accountable for providing a real and humane resolution to our country’s immigration crisis,” said CATA’s Executive Director, Jessica Culley.
It is important to remember that while the termination of the DACA program is part of the problem, it is not the whole problem. This country desperately needs comprehensive immigration reform, not just work permits or temporary statuses for certain groups of people. Many politicians find it easier to justify a program like DACA, saying the recipients are here “through no fault of their own” because they were brought over as very young children. Now is not the time to divide children from parents or blame parents for bringing their children here, they are not the enemy. They are here because they wanted a better life and better opportunities for their families. The enemy is the system – the unjust immigration laws and unfair trade policies – that have created the poverty and marginalized communities that are the root causes of migration.
“To the dreamers, I say don’t lose hope – you have to keep fighting because this is only the beginning. We have to push Congress to give us a solution, not just for the dreamers, but for everyone,” said Efren Diego, CATA’s Board President.
CATA is here to support DACA members and to call on Congress to take this opportunity to pass true immigration reform, not a piecemeal plan that will further punish the majority of undocumented immigrants living in this country. We stand together with the DACA community and will continue to stand up for what we know is right and just, even though the current administration is doing all they can to divide and suppress. This will not divide us; it will only make us stronger.