Contact: Jana Kooren, firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-529-1693 or 651-485-5925 (cell)
St. Paul, Minn – Today, President Trump announced intentions to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The President will delay the termination, giving Congress time to draft legislation to codify the program. Nearly 6,255 DACA recipients currently live and work in Minnesota, their futures now uncertain. For many of these young immigrants, known as “Dreamers,” Minnesota and the United States are the only home they know.
Teresa Nelson, interim executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s announcement.
Today is a deeply disappointing and heartbreaking day, not only for the thousands of DACA recipients living in Minnesota and across the country, but for their families, friends, neighbors, classmates, and coworkers. All immigrants, including Dreamers, are vital to our communities. It is shameful that the President is using their lives as bargaining chips and pushing Congress to draft and pass hasty legislation. This tactic undermines our government and creates chaos in our communities.
Five years ago, President Obama issued an executive order deprioritizing the deportation of undocumented immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as children. Meanwhile, Congress has repeatedly considered but failed to pass legislation that would protect Dreamers and ensure that they could truly live, work, and study in the United States without fear. Minnesota lawmakers must now stand behind the promise made to Dreamers back in 2012. Not only do we need to push for the passage of the DREAM Act of 2017, but we also need to be proactive and move forward state legislation to protect Dreamers and all our immigrant communities.
Trump’s decision to end the DACA program, while disappointing, is not surprising. It fits into a broader anti-immigration agenda that he has enacted since day one of his presidency. The executive order is cruel and divisive—but it will not prevail. Where Trump attempts to create chaos, we intend to foster solidarity and resistance. We will continue to fight against this administration’s attempts to criminalize, detain, and deport immigrants and their families.
The ACLU-MN is a non-profit organization that works to defend the civil liberties of all Minnesotans. Learn more at www.aclu-mn.org.