Local community members and organizations are reacting to the Trump administration’s decision to phase out a program that protects undocumented immigrants who were brought into the United States as children.
The Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program protects nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation if they were brought into the country as children.
Applications for the (DACA) program will no longer be accepted, but those who are currently involved in the program would not be affected by the changes until March 6. Congress will have six months to develop a new program.
On Tuesday afternoon, dozdens gathered at a rally on the campus of Case Western Reserve University to oppose the decision to end DACA.
Among those who spoke at the rally, a student who said she became a DACA recepient at the age of 15.
After the news of the administration’s move to end DACA, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish issued the following statement:
“President Trump’s decision to end DACA, or the “Dreamer’s Act,” will be tragic for almost one million young people across the country, including 4,000 in Ohio. Without an extension, these children will suddenly become illegal and unwanted in our country, one that has been built on the strength, dedication and hard work of immigrants from all over the world. I urge Congress to put aside its differences and to pass DACA. It is the American thing to do.”
Joseph Fungsang, immigration attorney with Margaret W. Wong & Associates, released the following statement:
“We remain confident Congress will see the benefit of creating a path to citizenship for the 800,000 DACA recipients, and others in the same situation, but it’s really important that you show them how important you are to the USA, and why they should not terminate your DACA status.”
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson issued the following statement opposing the decision to rescind DACA.
“I stand in opposition to rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, recognizing that the City of Cleveland thrives on the diversity of its people. Nearly 800,000 young people - including many in the City of Cleveland - may be negatively impacted. I encourage Clevelanders who may fear the loss of citizenship to become familiar with their rights – such as knowing what to do if an immigration officer comes to your door, what to do in the event of a raid and knowing the rights of students in schools. America is a nation of immigrants and their descendants. To retroactively change its legal framework to keep new immigrants from enjoying the successes previous generations of immigrants and their descendants have enjoyed does not represent our values. All people are welcome here in the City of Cleveland.”