The Alameda County Immigration Legal and Education Partnership (ACILEP) joins its voice with millions of others across the country to decry the Trump Administration’s announcement this morning ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program which provided temporary protection from deportation to approximately 800,000 immigrant youth nationwide.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that ending the DACA program would enable Congress to put forth a legislative solution in the next 6 months. We know that the move is mere political posturing and condemn the callous disregard that this decision will wreak on our community.
Enacted under former President Obama on June 15, 2012, DACA was established in response to Congress’ then failure to act and provide a comprehensive overhaul to what continues to be an inhumane immigration system. Immigrant youth were promised that if they came forward they would be allowed to live and work without fear of deportation.
Today, that promise has been broken. Trump who assured immigrant youth there was no need to worry, has put an end to all new DACA applications. Individuals whose DACA expires between now and March 5, 2018, can apply to renew their work authorization by October 5, 2017.
For California, the end of DACA will affect over 200,000 individuals and their families who have benefited from the program. As of 2016, Alameda County is home to at least 17,000 DACA eligible individuals. These longtime residents and their families are an integral part of our community. An attack on them is a threat to us all and we will vigorously defend their rights.
We call on all residents of our cities, counties, and state to stand with immigrants. We call on Congress to act swiftly. However, we will not support a legislative solution that increases immigration enforcement and mass deportation in exchange for keeping immigrant youth and their families safe.
Following is a statement from Jackie Gonzalez, immigration policy director at Centro Legal de la Raza:
“The DACA program would not have existed but for the fierce tenacity of young people who took to the streets to share their stories. They worked to shine light not just on themselves but the struggle and plight of the entire immigrant community. Today, we will invoke their vision and courage as we work to support those most deeply affected.”
Luis Serrano, Communications Director from California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, added:
“Just as we have been there for one another to celebrate our victories, we must also be there for one another during times of grief. So while we take the time to recollect, let us all be reminded that DACA was victoriously achieved through community organizing and base building. We have the power within all of us to organize and fight back, not just for the 800,000 DACA beneficiaries, but for all 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country.”
Alameda County Immigration Legal & Education Partnership (ACILEP) is a partnership of Centro Legal de la Raza, Alameda County Public Defender’s Office, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, Causa Justa/Just Cause, The Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, Oakland Community Organizations, Street Level Health, and Vietnamese American Community Center of the East Bay.
ACILEP responds to the critical need for legal services, know your rights education and rapid response services when there is an immigration enforcement action in Alameda County. It operates a 24-hour multi-lingual emergency hotline for individuals to call to report ICE enforcement activity and to request support for people facing the immediate threat of deportation. ACILEP’s hotline is 510-241-4011.