Contact: Erica Johnson, AFSC Iowa, 773-875-1493
DES MOINES (September 5, 2017) President Trump’s decision to end federal protection for a group of young immigrants threatens the well-being of our communities and runs counter to our best values, according to a Quaker group that has worked for immigrant rights in Iowa for over two decades.
Trump’s action threatens 800,000 young people across the U.S.—and over 3000 in Iowa—with deportation. “Because all people have rights and migration is a human right, no one should be deported,” said Erica Johnson, director of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in Iowa. “Rescinding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an inhumane attack on young people, their families, and our communities. Iowa has been a historically welcoming place for immigrants and refugees. Regardless of who is in the White House, or what anti-immigrant agenda is being promoted, immigrant allies will now work even harder to make our communities welcoming.”
Johnson said that DACA has created opportunities for young immigrants to work, pursue educational opportunities, and support themselves and their families. Ending this program will strip these options from DACA recipients and put them in danger of deportation.
Members of Congress will now reconsider legislative attempts to address the issue. Johnson stressed that “DACA recipients must not be used as bargaining chips to push policies that would criminalize, detain, or deport more members of our families and communities. We will continue our work – in the courts, in our communities, and in the streets – until everyone has access to legal status.”
Johnson said AFSC in Iowa has 22 years of experience providing low-cost immigration legal services to immigrants and refugees while organizing and advocating for humane immigration policies. The group’s focuses on family reunification, worker rights, a roadmap to citizenship and an end to the criminalization of immigrants.
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.