Trump will harm thousands as he ends popular DACA immigration program

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement SWAT officer. Wikimedia Commons

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today that the Trump administration will kill the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) program.

DACA shields approximately 800,000 young undocumented immigrants (DREAMers) from deportation who were brought to the country as children. Most of the participants have never known any country other than the United States and only speak English.

The Williams Institute estimates that there are over 75,000 LGBT DREAMers in the U.S. and over 36,000 have participated in DACA.

“Policies related to immigration and migration impact LGBT people – including those who are foreign-born, as well as their US-born partners and children,” said Dr. Kerith Conron. “DACA allows many younger LGBT immigrants to pursue education, to earn a living, and to contribute to the US economy.”

Trump, who previously said that DREAMers should “rest easy,” gave Congress six months to fix the issue legislatively before his deportation orders go into effect. In his announcement, Sessions declared DACA was an “unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch.”

“After his unfounded smear of transgender service members, President Trump has now decided to take aim at children of immigrants,” Roddy Flynn, Executive Director of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus said.  “This cruel decision goes against not just overwhelming public opinion, but basic human decency.  The hundreds of thousands of young people covered by DACA know no other home than America.  To rip these protections away will force them out of jobs, destabilize families and businesses, and send shockwaves through the U.S. economy.”

“Along with his Muslim ban and pardon of Joe Arpaio, this cruel act is a trifecta of President Trump’s full embrace to the violent, out-of-touch ideology of white supremacists,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “The LGBTQ community stands with fair-minded Americans in demanding that hardworking and patriotic DREAMers be allowed access to the American Dream.”

According to the department of Homeland Security, immigrants with DACA permits that expire before March 5 can get a two year renewal, but must apply for it before October 5.

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