A DISGRACE TO EVERYTHING WE STAND FOR – BOTH AS A STATE AND AS A NATION.                .On September 5th, Donald Trump sent his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, to announce the end, in 6 months, of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, effectively turning 800,000 American lives into fodder for his for-profit deportation machine. Even with the 6 month delay, these young immigrants are now at greater risk than they were even before they applied for the program.

WHAT IS THE DACA PROGRAM?

DACA provides relief from deportation to certain young immigrants. In 2012, President Obama created the DACA program to grant relief from deportation to individuals who came to the U.S. as children, if they met a number of requirements (like extensive background checks). The Obama Administration recognized that there were millions of undocumented young immigrants who grew up in the U.S., who were essentially American in every sense, except on paper. The program has allowed approximately 800,000 young people the opportunity to live and work lawfully in the U.S. It does not provide a path to citizenship.

DACA is constitutionalOpponents of DACA, including Trump, are falsely claiming that DACA is unconstitutional. But nationally renowned constitutional scholars have weighed in arguing that not only is DACA constitutional, but that previous presidents from both parties have used the same process to grant relief from deportation to other immigrants.

DACA recipients contribute greatly to their communities.  Illinois has the fourth largest population of DACA recipients in the country and the highest share in the Midwest, with more than 42,000 people. In total, Trump’s actions will rob Illinois of nearly $ 2.3 billion in GDP each year.

WHAT THE END OF THE DACA PROGRAM MEANS

Donald Trump has betrayed our values and unraveled our promise to these young immigrants who grew up calling the United States home. When the program was created back in 2012, the U.S. government asked eligible immigrants to come forward, to volunteer their personal information, undergo a background check, and pay a large fine, in exchange for protection from deportation. Indeed, DACA is a promise of safety by the U.S. government to the 800,000 individuals who have been granted DACA—and now that promise has been broken.

Trump’s elimination of DACA is part of his white supremacist agenda. Trump’s decision is consistent with his broader, white supremacist agenda. He notably pardoned former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on August 25, a man who made his career by violating the constitutional rights of those he was sworn to protect because of the color of their skin. Make no mistake: Trump is systematically attacking people of color, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, and anyone else he can “other.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO DEFEND DACA

Tell our two Senators and your Representative to include a clean DREAM Act in any must-pass legislative vehicles this month. The DREAM Act would give DACA recipients and others who arrived in the United States as children a path to permanent lawful status and eventual citizenship. Words are empty unless followed up by an immediate congressional remedy. It’s up to your representatives in Congress to stand up to Trump’s hateful decision and secure the futures of DACA recipients with a legislative fix: The DREAM Act (S.1615 / H.R.3440).

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