Washington, September 1, 2017— Today, President Trump announced his decision to limit the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program, started during the Obama administration in 2012, allows those who immigrated to the United States as children to stay in this country and continue to study, work, and give back to their communities. The following is a statement from Esther Brimmer, Executive Director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
“For months, young people’s lives have hung in the balance while rumors circulated that the President would end DACA, which since its creation, has allowed hundreds of thousands of young aspiring Americans to live, work and study in the United States without fear of being deported from the only country they have ever known. Although today’s announcement was not as severe as many had feared, questions remain about how the changes will be implemented. Anything short of renewing and extending DACA destroys futures and undermines families, tormenting those who have come forward to contribute their energy and skills to this country with the fear of the program being revoked or curtailed. These young immigrants have become part of our communities and are Americans in every way but their paperwork. Turning our backs on these innocent young people is cruel and the antithesis of the values upon which our country was founded.
“There are numerous stories and evidence that show the value DACA recipients bring to our economy and communities. The program has unlocked basic opportunities for the nearly 800,000 beneficiaries who have come forward in good faith, passed background checks, paid fees, and been granted permission to live and work legally in the United States. Thousands have been able to fulfill their dreams of attending and completing college. Thousands more are working legally, paying taxes and providing for their families. Today, we stand with immigration advocates across the country in demanding Congress pass a clean version of the bipartisan Dream Act and give these young men and women a path to citizenship. We must not shut the doors to the American dream or put people at risk of deportation who have already demonstrated that they contribute to and enrich America. Like the generations of immigrants who came before them, DACA recipients love America and deserve the chance to prosper and thrive.”