Trump dismantling DACA, dreamers and allies rally
The Trump administration Sept. 5 began dismantling the program protecting hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.
The White House distributed talking points to members of Congress that included a warning: “The Department of Homeland Security urges DACA recipients to use the time remaining on their work authorizations to prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States.”
The president campaigned on a promise to abolish the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Trump now has sent a time bomb to Republicans in Congress who have no consensus on how to defuse it.
The administration's announcement had been anticipated and arrived on a day of actions by “dreamers” and their allies across the country.
In Wisconsin, in House Speaker Paul Ryan's district, Voces de la Frontera and Youth Empowered in the Struggle staged a march Sept. 5 from Ryan's Racine office to the Racine Unified School District offices.
Young immigrants who could be impacted by the administration's decision to phase out the Obama-era DACA program also went on a hunger strike to draw the attention of Ryan to their demands.
“We just want to work hard to support our families and communities, and Trump's elimination of DACA will shatter our dreams,” said Valeria Ruiz, an organizer with Voces de la Frontera/Youth Empowered in the Struggle. “Speaker Ryan must move legislation to protect DACA recipients, our families and all immigrants.”
DACA was created by presidential executive order in 2012, after Congress failed to act on immigration reform, especially the Dream Act.
The program has shielded about 800,000 young immigrants from deportation and afforded them the opportunity to work legally in the U.S. in the form of two-year, renewable work permits.
Ryan said he hoped the “House and Senate, with the president's leadership, will be able to find consensus on a permanent legislative solution that includes ensuring that those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute as a valued part of this great country.”
Under the phase-out plan announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Department of Homeland Security halted acceptance of new applications under DACA.
Those with permits set to expire between now and March 5, 2018, will be able to re-apply until Oct. 5.
Former President Barack Obama called Trump's decision wrong, self-defeating and cruel.