WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
5 Sep 2017 | Press Release

President Trump’s DACA Decision Puts Hundreds of Thousands of Youths in Danger of Deportation

Congress Must Act Immediately to Protect DACA Recipients

Washington, DC—Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allowed migrants who were brought to the United States as children to stay in the country. This action puts nearly 800,000 young people back in limbo, fear, and despair, according to the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a leading research and advocacy organization advancing human rights in the hemisphere.

“Can you imagine being brought to this country as a toddler and now having to live in fear that you will be deported to a country you’ve barely known? President Trump’s decision to end DACA is inhumane and cruel. These kids will now wonder if they can continue to work or go to school, and will be constantly looking over their shoulders,” said Matt Clausen, WOLA’s Executive Director. “Dreamers are exactly the kind of people we should want in this country—young, eager to work or study, respectful of the law, and contributing to the economy.”

The Trump Administration’s announcement that it would “wind down” the DACA program over the next six months sets up a major political battle this fall over the future of thousands of young people who are now in school or are actively participating in the workforce. More than 80 percent of ‘Dreamers’ were brought to the United States by parents from Mexico and Central America, many of whom were fleeing violence and seeking a better future.

“This is unacceptable. Congress must act immediately to provide protections for the young people whose lives will be disrupted and endangered,” said Clausen. “The future of ‘Dreamers’ should not be used as a bargaining chip to enact other aspects of the Trump administration’s draconian anti-immigrant agenda.”