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DACA again under threat from Trump Administration

Quaker org says congressional action urgently needed

DACA rally in front of Supreme court
Photo: / AFSC

WASHINGTON, DC (July 28, 2020) Today, the Trump Administration released a memo that works to dismantle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This memo comes just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration did not provide adequate justification to rescind DACA in 2017. DACA is a program that has provided temporary deportation relief to almost 800,000 people who came to the U.S. as children. The Trump administration is ignoring the courts, rejecting new applications and increasing the financial burden on DACA recipients by reducing the duration of renewals to one year. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) – a Quaker organization that has worked for immigrant and refugee rights for over a century – denounced this cruel and divisive action.  

“The Trump administration is disregarding the Supreme Court, putting 300,000 undocumented young people at risk of deportation, and using immigrants as political pawns in order to advance a xenophobic and racist ideology,” said Peniel Ibe, Policy Engagement Coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee. “During a time of pandemic and a growing movement to end violence from law enforcement against Black and Brown people, we need these protections more than ever. We are calling on the administration to halt any enforcement activities against DACA recipients and undocumented young people and cease all attacks on the DACA program.” 

Since the DACA program was announced by executive order in 2012, AFSC has been involved in helping people sign up for the program, providing know-your-rights information, protesting and advocating at the Capitol and across the country, and mobilizing constituents to support legislation creating a roadmap to citizenship for all.

DACA recipients are now urging Congress to act – and not just to protect DACA recipients. "DACA was very helpful to me as an undocumented student,” said Jesús Palafox, Regional Administrative Associate in AFSC’s Chicago office. “It enabled me to continue my education, get a job with AFSC, and pursue a master’s degree. But I am just one of millions of people living in this country who need to be able to adjust their status. We all deserve to know that we can feel secure in continuing to build our lives here.”

AFSC and organizations across the country say that this setback will not stop them from continuing to struggle for racial justice and humane immigration policies. “Our parents and all members of our communities also deserve protections,” said Itzel Hernandez, an immigrant rights organizer with AFSC in Red Bank, New Jersey who is also a DACA recipient. “DACA is not enough—and it was never meant to be enough. Until we have a permanent solution, we will continue to live in limbo.  Congress must stop funding agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that threaten and harm our communities and pass legislation to provide a roadmap to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented people living and working in the United States.”  

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The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. Drawing on continuing spiritual insights and working with people of many backgrounds, we nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social systems.