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Women’s Refugee Commission Strongly Condemns President Trump’s Decision to End DACA

Washington, DC – Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, on behalf of the Trump Administration, announced the Trump Administration’s decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

DACA was instituted on August 15, 2012 to provide young people without immigration status who were brought here by their parents with an opportunity to come out of the shadows and temporarily live and work legally in the United States. Since then, nearly 800,000 young immigrants have come forward to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), voluntarily provided their information to the government, undergone background checks, and received DACA status. This protection has allowed these young people to fulfill their dreams of attending and completing college and joining the workforce.

A recent study by Dr. Tom K. Wong of the University of California, San Diego; United We Dream (UWD); the National Immigration Law Center (NILC); and the Center for American Progress details just how vital of a role DACA beneficiaries play in America. Most DACA recipients, known as DREAMers, are working legally, paying taxes, providing for their families, and making daily contributions to America’s economy and culture.

“The Women’s Refugee Commission is deeply saddened by President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program,” said Michelle Brané. “DACA recipients are mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, and neighbors, who contribute ideas, culture, and integrity to our nation. Their hard work and contributions benefit our communities, families, and economy. They willingly came out of the shadows so that they could contribute to the country they call home, knowing that their personal information could one day be used to track them down and deport them. The President’s decision to end DACA places countless families at risk of being torn apart and puts DREAMers and their children in precarious situations. Simply stated, this is bad policy, and does nothing to make us safer. Rather, it serves as another grim reminder of this Administration’s war on immigrant women, children and their families.”

The Washington Post reports that lawmakers are preparing for an extended public fight over whether DREAMers should maintain their DACA status.

“President Trump’s decision to terminate DACA is cowardly and inhumane. President Trump is putting the lives of 800,000 young people and their families in limbo in the hope that Congress will come up with a solution before DACA recipients’ status expires and they become another target of his Administration’s enforcement regime. President Trump must be held accountable for this egregious decision.

“These young people have put their faith in the American Dream. Without a legal mechanism to remain in the US, women and youth who lose their DACA status will be at risk of being rounded up and deported to their countries of birth – including the Northern Triangle of Central America – where many have not been since they were children, and where they are at risk of violence, extortion, and death. Communities will be torn apart, and parents and siblings will face the impossible task of preparing children of tender age for the possibility that they may lose a loving and trusted caregiver to deportation. Additionally, the children left behind will be traumatized and at risk. DREAMers are vital members of American communities and families. The Women’s Refugee Commission stands by them in calling on Congress to pass bipartisan DREAM legislation immediately.”