Lead­ers urge: Pro­tect DREAMers

Trump may ex­pose young im­mi­grants to de­por­ta­tion

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page -

USA TO­DAY

More than 1,850 lead­ers from around the coun­try pleaded with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Wed­nes­day to pre­serve an Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion pro­gram that pro­tects DREAMers from de­por­ta­tion.

Trump is con­sid­er­ing end­ing the De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals pro­gram, or DACA, which Pres­i­dent Barack Obama cre­ated. It has granted de­por­ta­tion pro­tec­tions to nearly 800,000 un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants brought to the coun­try as chil­dren.

Eight gov­er­nors, five state at­tor­neys gen­eral, more than 130 may­ors, 230 state leg­is­la­tors, and many faith lead­ers, judges, po­lice chiefs and sher­iffs signed onto a state­ment ask­ing Trump to re­con­sider.

The vast ma­jor­ity of the sign­ers are Democrats, in­clud­ing all the gov­er­nors and at­tor­neys gen­eral. They rep­re­sent states rang­ing from Cal­i­for­nia and Ore­gon to Min­nesota, New York and Vir­ginia.

The list in­cludes sev­eral Repub­li­cans, as well, such as Mi­ami Mayor To­mas Re­gal­ado and Aurora, Colorado, Mayor Steve Ho­gan.

In the let­ter, the group high­lights the eco­nomic con­tri­bu­tions DREAMers have made to their com­mu­ni­ties since the pro­gram was cre­ated in 2012. They said the U.S. economy would lose $460 bil­lion over the next decade if DACA were ter­mi­nated.

In ad­di­tion, busi­nesses would in­cur $3.4 bil­lion in turnover costs to re­place their DACA em­ploy­ees, who are given work per­mits un­der the pro­gram, the let­ter read.

The sign­ers stressed the moral obli­ga­tion of the U.S. to pro­tect those un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants, call­ing an end of the pro­gram “sense­lessly cruel.”

“Five years ago we made a prom­ise to them that they could con­tinue to stay here and work to­wards achiev­ing their Amer­i­can dreams,” said Wash­ing­ton Gov. Jay Inslee, a Demo­crat. “Now there are na­tional lead­ers cru­elly threat­en­ing to break that prom­ise, a move that would fly in the face of ev­ery­thing we stand for as a na­tion.”

The DACA pro­gram grants two-year stays for un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants brought to the United States be­fore their 16th birth­day who have at­tended school or joined the mil­i­tary and have not com­mit­ted any se­ri­ous crimes. It also grants them work per­mits.

The pro­gram was cre­ated through a mem­o­ran­dum by the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity, which means it can be re­scinded with­out any in­put from Congress.

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