Yesterday Donald Trump made the cruel and reprehensible choice of terminating DACA, a program that has allowed 800,000 young immigrants to live and work in the United States without the constant threat of deportation. After weeks of proclaiming his love for the Dreamers and lamenting about how hard the decision was for him, Trump chose once again to side with racism, xenophobia and white supremacy. It is no coincidence that Trump chose Jeff Sessions, one of the most racist and xenophobic members of his administration, to announce the end of DACA.
Sessions used distortions and false arguments to lay out the justification for ending a program supported by the overwhelming majority of the country, citing “unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch” and pitting youth with DACA and immigrants in general against ‘hardworking Americans.’ But this is not about the rule of law. This is not about the economy. This is about advancing a xenophobic political agenda that is white supremacist and racist at its core.
Trump threw the ball back to Congress to come up with a permanent solution for immigrants with DACA. While there seems to be some momentum for Congress to act, there is a real danger that relief for DACAmented youth will be used to impose nefarious policies like the border wall, extremely harsh enforcement and limits on legal immigration and used to divide our immigrant communities and our movement. We cannot allow them to pit us against one another or to divide and destroy our families and our communities, as they have in the past. We must stand firm and united.
To all immigrant youth: you are not alone. We stand with you. We will fight with you. We will follow your lead. DACA happened because of your courage and your power. You taught your parents and elders how to stand up for their dignity and their rights. With your leadership, our communities and our movement will continue to defend our dignity and humanity, and we will persist and prevail in our righteous struggle for justice for everyone.