From the World Socialist Web Site in the USA:
Protesters denounce Trump’s repeal of DACA program
By our reporters
6 September 2017
Demonstrators marched throughout the United States Tuesday to protest the Trump administration’s decision to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and to defend an estimated 800,000 children of undocumented immigrants who could face deportation.
Hundreds of protesters in Washington, DC gathered in front of the White House and then marched to the Department of Justice, where Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced “an orderly and lawful” wind-down of the program. In a right-wing rant, Sessions denounced DACA recipients as “mostly adult illegal aliens” who had “taken the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Americans.”
Outside the Trump Tower in New York City, around 400 protesters blocked a stretch of Fifth Avenue. Demonstrations were also held in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Nashville, Tennessee and scores of other cities.
Walkouts in Denver and Phoenix were part of a wave of walkouts by high school and college students on the first day of classes. In Phoenix, more than 500 students walked out of South Mountain and North high schools and marched more than a mile to local police and Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) headquarters to protest the anti-immigrant attack and heavy-handed police presence in their schools. Many students chanted, “Trump is not our president,” as passing cars honked in support, according to local media reports.
In Denver, hundreds of students at several schools walked out of classes shortly after Sessions’ announcement. Other DACA rallies were held in Colorado Springs, Longmont, Glenwood Springs and Boulder.
WSWS reporting teams spoke with protesters in several cities.
New York City
Protests took place throughout the day in New York City, home to some 30,000 immigrants in the DACA program, and additional protests are expected this weekend. Around noon, hundreds of protesters blocked 5th Avenue and 57th Street by Trump Tower. New York Police Department officers, including Counterterrorism officers, arrested 34 people. One of the participating organizations, Movimiento Cosecha, tweeted that nine of the arrestees are DACA enrollees, also known as DREAMers.
Protesters chanted slogans in English and Spanish, including “Aquí estamos, y no nos vamos” (“We’re here and we’re not leaving”) and “When DACA is under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!”
Fidel, a cook who is saving money to go back to college, told the WSWS, “We are here to fight for our rights. I am protesting for DACA not to be eliminated because it has changed my life since I got it.
“It opened doors for me to education and to work, and to getting a driver’s license. School means everything. I went to regular high school in New Jersey, and I learned English. Without it you are in trouble, and when I came to this country, I couldn’t even say ‘Hi.’
“When I learned the language, I could apply for college. I want to get a degree in mechanical engineering. I was working as a cook while I was studying. DACA opened the door to getting a driver’s license to drive without fear to school and to work. It would have been much harder to go to school and go to work without a valid driver’s license and a car.
“All my friends from high school are being affected by this attack on DACA. One was here with me this morning, and got arrested.”
“I think they should pass a law so that there are equal rights for all.
“I don’t trust Trump, and with the Democrats we have to see. I know what Obama did to be called the ‘Deporter-in-Chief.’ Right now, the government of this country is so messed up.
“We are here fighting for our rights, and we are not going anywhere. We are going to stay here fighting.”
A young woman holding a homemade sign stopped briefly on the side of the march to tell the WSWS: “I don’t agree with the decision that was made by Trump. My family is affected, my sister-in-law. I am here to support them. The government needs to provide a legal path for DREAMers. These people are helping to provide for the country.”
In Detroit, a couple hundred protesters gathered in Clark Park in the southwest side, the home of large Hispanic and Arabic communities. Students from Western International High School joined the afternoon protest when their first day of classes let out.
The rally was organized by the immigrant advocacy group Michigan United, which includes sections of the trade union bureaucracy, including the United Auto Workers, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the HERE hotel workers union. While there was a spirited participation of some neighborhood residents, the official speakers, including a representative from Mayor Duggan’s office, encouraged illusions in the Democrats, even though under President Obama more immigrants were deported than any previous administration.
Juan, who came to the United States from Mexico when he was one, is part of the DACA program and could now face deportation. “I could lose my job, my house, my car and my family and be sent to a foreign land I don’t know. I was born in Mexico and I’m proud of it, but I was raised in southwest Detroit. My dad worked here with a visa, he was legal. He decided to bring his family here. Three of my siblings were born here, and are all citizens. But my sister and I were born in Mexico and we both face the same threat.
“DACA was never meant to be permanent. I want to be an American citizen. I’m speaking out because I don’t want to live in the shadows. We are all living in anxiety. In Houston, immigrants are afraid to appeal to the authorities for help because they could be deported. There was a case of an undocumented worker who was out saving other people and was swept away and killed. The government wouldn’t let his mother in to bury her son.
“Trump is feeding his base. Everything Sessions said today was a lie. He said DACA had caused the humanitarian disaster with the surge of Central American refugees in 2008. But DACA wasn’t signed until 2012. Sessions never mentioned the US-backed wars in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala that was the real cause.”
Adam, a retired industrial worker, said, “It’s not fair to young people who were brought over many years ago and know the US more than their original countries. They came over from Third World countries and had to overcome a lot to adjust, and they adjusted well. Now they could be thrown back into countries they don’t know. Trump is doing what the rich have always done. They turned the black against the white, the native-born against the immigrant. It’s to divide and conquer.”
“It’s horrible what is going on,” said Michele, a worker from the east side. “This country is made up of immigrants. Michigan is a diverse society, and everything we build or consume in Detroit and Michigan is touched by immigrant workers. Our future depends on immigrant workers and Dreamers.
“It’s a lie to say immigrants are stealing jobs. These are the worst jobs—the hours are horrible, the pay and conditions are horrible. It’s capitalism, not immigrants, that’s at fault.”
Between 300-400 people gathered at Nashville’s Centennial Park to hear a few speakers before marching along one of the city’s main thoroughfares, West End Avenue.
Randy and Wesley, both university students, said they had come out to show their support. “I have met a lot of DACA students and seen them do awesome things,” Wesley said. “I think it is important to be standing in solidarity with people who are having a hard time.”
Randy said he had met and knew DACA students and it was time for the US Congress to pass a law approving the program. “That would be a solution but I don’t have much hope.”
Asked about a socialist solution to abolish borders and give workers the same right as capital to go wherever they choose to earn a living, Randy said he was uncertain. Asked what is necessary if Congress balks at preserving the DACA program, he responded, “That’s hard to say (and) that’s the problem. That’s why I’m here today because I don’t know.”
But Wesley added, “I think we have a duty to accept people.”
Charles, a junior and international business student at a local college, said he had grown up in a mixed cultural environment and “built bridges” during that time.
“I have a lot of undocumented friends, and they have benefited from DACA. I have seen the contributions they have made, I’ve gone to their homes and seen the sacrifices they have made. I appreciate that and what they have had to endure. I am supporting them now like they have supported me.”
In New Mexico, where over 7,000 students and workers could be affected by the DACA phase-out, high school and college students across the state left their classes to participate in protest actions. Students and faculty at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque gathered to protest in front of the university bookstore in the morning.
Hundreds of students at several Albuquerque high schools walked out after lunch, chanted and marched. According to a KRQE report, “A lot of the students are not DACA recipients, but they know plenty of kids who are.” Student protesters decried the measure. One Albuquerque High student, Rowan Ortega, told reporters, “Immigrants are allowed here. You do have a right to be here. No matter where you come from, you have a right to be who you are.”
Many of the students then joined immigrant and native-born protesters later that afternoon at the downtown Civic Plaza, where speakers, some of them DREAMers, denounced Trump’s decision … Their advice to the protesters consisted mostly of urging them to contact elected officials and to hold more protests.
PRO-DACA PROTESTS ERUPT AROUND THE COUNTRY After the Trump administration announced the decision to end Obama-era protections for undocumented immigrants. And here’s what Republicans are saying about a potential DACA fix. [HuffPost]
San Diego protests against Trump’s repeal of DACA program: here.
AS TRUMP KILLS DACA, DREAMERS WORRY FOR THEIR FAMILIES “When Karla Pérez handed over a stack of paperwork including her home address, photographs and her fingerprints to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services five years ago to apply for DACA, she was still living at home with her parents. To gain the ability to work legally under the new program despite being undocumented, Pérez had to make the tough choice to give the Department of Homeland Security not just her own address, but the one for her mom and dad as well.” [HuffPost]
Former President Barack Obama spoke out about Trump’s DACA decision, but Cher’s commentary took the cake.
The decision of the Trump administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program marks a new stage in the attack on immigrant workers and youth in the United States and internationally. Nearly 800,000 young people who have spent most of their lives in the US will, beginning in six months, be left at the mercy of the apparatus of repression, violence and deportation called the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the US Border Patrol: here.
The white supremacist in chief just struck again. Donald Trump killed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and put more than 800,000 immigrants at risk of deportation.1
DACA gave immigrants who came to the United States as children, known as Dreamers, the ability to obtain driver’s licenses and work permits and live safely in the only country many of them have ever known. President Obama created DACA after thousands of undocumented young people took the risk to come out of the shadows and fight for protected status.
Trump knows that ending DACA is cruel and unpopular. He was too cowardly to make the announcement himself and has now put Dreamers’ fate in Congress’ hands. Republicans in Congress have had a bigoted, anti-immigrant agenda for years. And Trump premised his entire administration on a racist war on immigrants. Now, Trump and his racist party want to use Dreamers as a bargaining chip to advance their hateful agenda and put other immigrants at risk. Now more than ever, we must stand with our allies in the immigrant rights movement and make our demands crystal clear: No trade-offs. No compromises.
Democrats and Republicans of good conscience must pass clean legislation to reinstate DACA with no strings attached. They must also stop right-wing extremists from using Dreamers as a bargaining chip and inserting legislative poison pills to expand immigration enforcement, build Trump’s wall or shut down our borders. Can you add your name?
Tell Congress: Immediately restore and expand DACA by passing clean legislation without any poison pills from the extreme right wing. Click here to sign the petition.
When Trump set his anti-immigrant agenda in motion, he said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement would focus on removing dangerous criminals from the country and told DACA beneficiaries that they could “rest easy.” Trump was lying. His rogue deportation force has targeted and attacked all immigrants since day one of his racist regime. Going after Dreamers is just another way to advance his white supremacist agenda and terrorize immigrant communities.
Racist, anti-immigrant attorneys general from 10 states threatened to sue the Department of Justice if it did not end DACA by Sept. 5.2 Their threats gave Trump license to kill the program. Trump says he admires Dreamers, but he is a coward and a liar. His attempt to shift the burden to Congress and give them six months to act is nothing more than a desperate attempt to appear compassionate and use Dreamers as political cover to advance his reckless and dangerous anti-immigrant agenda. Trump is now planning to phase out DACA, saying that current DACA beneficiaries will not be impacted until March 2018. But we cannot trust him to keep his word. To protect Dreamers, Congress must take bold action immediately.
Democrats and Republicans have already introduced the 2017 DREAM Act and The American Hope Act, sister bills that would restore and expand DACA. 3 If Congress passes the 2017 DREAM Act as-is, with no amendments, it would:
Immediately protect current Dreamers from deportation.
Raise the program’s age entry requirement to 18. Immigrants who entered the country before the age of 18 would qualify for DACA under the new law.
Expand eligibility for DACA to include college students, members of the military, workers and full-time caregivers of minor children.
Add new paths to citizenship for Dreamers.
Dreamers embody the spirit of the United States in a way that small minded xenophobic Republicans like Trump will never understand. They came to the United States with parents who made the courageous and extremely difficult decision to leave their families, communities and countries of birth behind in the hopes of building better lives. Some families are displaced by war, others by climate change or corporate greed. All are seeking refuge, freedom from persecution and better economic opportunities for their families. There is nothing more American than that. Trump’s attacks on immigrants are attacks on the very fabric of our nation. We must push Congress to act now.
Tell Congress: Immediately restore and expand DACA by passing clean legislation without any poison pills from the extreme right wing. Click here to sign the petition.
Government funding is set to expire at the end of September, and Trump has threatened to shut down the government if Congress does not approve funding for his southern border wall in a broader must-pass government funding bill.4 Our activism pushed Senate Democrats to block funding for Trump’s wall before. Together, we can do it again. That is why CREDO is teaming up with our friends at United We Dream to make sure Democrats and Republicans of good conscience advance strong legislation to reinstate and expand DACA and stop anti-immigrant Republicans from leveraging the program to ramp-up immigration enforcement or wall off our borders.
Restoring DACA will not protect all immigrants from Trump’s hate, but it would bring us one step closer to reaching that goal. Can you help us make sure Congress takes a stand for Dreamers and does not use them as bargaining chips?
Tell Congress: Immediately restore and expand DACA by passing clean legislation without any poison pills from the extreme right wing. Click the link below to sign the petition.
Thank you for your activism,
Nicole Regalado, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
P.S. Click here to find an emergency #DefendDACA event near you.
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
Matthew Yglesias, “Trump isn’t delivering his own DACA policy because he’s cowardly and weak,” Vox, Sept. 5, 2017.
Molly Ball, “How Immigration Hardliners Are Forcing Trump’s Hand on DACA, The Atlantic, Aug. 31, 2017.
E. A. Crunden, “Sweeping new effort aims to protect undocumented immigrants,” ThinkProgress, July 28, 2017.
Matthew Cooper, “Wake Trump up when September ends: President, Congress face debt limit, government shutdown deadlines,” Newsweek, Aug. 28, 2017.
Right now, hundreds of UltraViolet members are calling Nike and Starbucks corporate offices to demand they condemn Donald Trump’s move to strip 800,000 young immigrants of their legal status and his defense of white supremacists by moving out of Trump Tower.
Will you help increase the pressure on each company’s executives by tweeting as well?
Top executives from both companies have spoken out against the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, while the Starbucks president has additionally opposed Trump’s decision to condemn 800,000 young immigrants to deportation. But neither company can claim to be “inclusive” while paying rent to Donald Trump.
Both companies are vulnerable to this kind of pressure, so your tweet can go a long way.
It’s best to use your own words, but here are sample tweets you can use:
If Mark Parker of @Nike feels strongly about Charlottesville, will he end Nike’s multi-million dollar lease at Trump Tower?
Howard Schultz of @Starbucks had strong words about DACA & Charlottesville. Can execs move out of Trump Tower too?
Thanks for taking action.
–Nita, Shaunna, Kat, Karin, Adam, Holly, Kathy, Onyi, Susan, Anathea, Audine, Shannon, Emma, Pilar, Natalie, Melody, Pam, Ryan, and Lindsay, the UltraViolet team
1. Starbucks chairman questions country’s ‘moral fiber’, ABC News, August 17, 2017
2. Nike CEO’s memo to employees condemns violence in Charlottesville, Portland Business Journal, August 18, 2017
3. Open Letter From Leaders of American Industry, August 31, 2017
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OK, as long as you link to the original.
Supporters of the programme demonstrated in New York, where police handcuffed and removed over a dozen immigration activists who briefly blocked access to Trump Tower, and in other cities, including Salt Lake City, Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Portland, Oregon.
Maxima Guerrero of Phoenix, Arizona-based advocacy group Aliento said her organisation was considering a fundraising campaign to help Daca recipients renew their status before the October deadline.
New York student Karen Marin, who was brought to the US from Mexico as a baby, said she had survived before without Daca.
“It’s just temporary status. It’s not anything that is a permanent fix, and that’s what we need — something permanent.
“Something to help us continue moving forward as citizens of the United States, because that’s what we are.”
Thursday 7th September 2017
posted by Morning Star in Features
ALBERT BENDER hopes the pardon of the racist sheriff Joe Arpaio will be Trump’s Waterloo
WILL the disgraceful pardon of the brazenly racist sheriff Joe Arpaio be Trump’s Waterloo? It certainly should be. Trump has done what no other “president” in recent US history has ever done — he has, by his actions, endorsed virulent racism, lauded flagrant white supremacy and praised the holding of people of colour — specifically Latinos — in what by Arpaio’s own admission he proudly called a “concentration camp.”
As sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, Arpaio was infamous for his racial profiling, arrest and confinement of Latinos in tents in triple-digit (°F) Arizona temperatures. This hardcore racist was most vilely known for the establishment of the “tent city,” a huge outdoor jail that at its height held 1,700 inmates. It was opened by Arpaio in 1993.
The conditions at this facility were incredible. Surrounded by an electrified fence it was, according to Amnesty International, inhumane, dangerous and overcrowded.
For months at a time, those sentenced for minor crimes such as shoplifting slept under cloth tents on bunk beds resting on large cement slabs. During the summer, temperatures could easily reach 130°F (54°C).
I’m familiar with the Phoenix heat, having lived there in the early 1990s. It is stifling, like being in a pizza oven. So it’s no surprise that one detainee described being in “tent city” as feeling “like you are in a furnace.”
The living conditions were minimalist in that the inmates were provided only two meals a day, valued at $0.30 (23p) each. Cigarettes and coffee were banned.
Inmates were forced to work on chain gangs, which had been discontinued in other parts of the US in 1955.
The outdoor jail also had the only all-female chain gang. Inmates were publicly paraded through the local streets to be humiliated.
Women were particularly abused at tent city. The justice department found examples of Latina inmates being “denied basic sanitary items,” “forced to remain with sheets or pants soiled from menstruation,” or put in solitary confinement because they could not understand English.
A federal court found Arpaio guilty, in 2011, of these illegal activities and ordered him and his deputies to cease detaining Latinos during patrols based simply on suspicion of their immigration status, rather than on any traffic offenses.
But the racial profiling, arrests and imprisonment continued unabated. Arpaio was found guilty by another federal judge in July of criminal contempt for disobeying the previous court order. He was due to be sentenced on October 5 and faced up to six months in prison for wilfully violating a federal court order.
But in walks Trump to save the day for this apartheid lawman. On Friday August 25, late in the evening and under the cover of Hurricane Harvey — one of the worst weather disasters in recent memory — Trump cravenly issued a pardon to the arch-racist Arpaio.
Trump undoubtedly thought that the humanitarian crisis would overshadow this cowardly act. Notwithstanding the horrific climate crisis barreling down on Texas, a firestorm of criticism was sparked by the pardon.
Trump has the temerity to call Arpaio “a great American patriot,” when this unmitigated racist operated a jail that approached detention conditions reminiscent of the concentration camps of nazi Germany.
Indeed, Latino prisoners chanted: “Hitler! Hitler!” in protest when TV news reporters came to tent city in 2009. It is a shame on the US that this atrocity was open for so long. Inmates were subjected to humiliation and torture for 24 long years.
It is a further disgrace for this country that its chief executive issued a pardon to the public official responsible for this abomination. Trump has made a mockery of what little rule of law there is left in this country.
Much of the reproach has come from Trump’s own Republican Party, with Paul Ryan and John McCain censuring him. Even Trump’s own secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, was left unable to defend the action, simply stating: “The president speaks for himself.”
All are apparently distancing themselves from the increasingly isolated commander-in-chief.
This pardon is a green light to further turn loose the racist “dogs of war,” to further embolden the backward, hate-filled segments of this society. It is an invitation to violence that could well ignite a civil conflict in this country the likes of which have not been seen since the civil war.
That the rest of the world is alarmed by developments in the US is shown by the issuance of a formal “early warning” over the racial situation in the country by a UN committee tasked with combating racism. This is an exceptional move that often signals the potential for an impending civil struggle.
This pardon might well have been the proverbial straw to break the camel’s back as there is now a march underway that started on Monday August 28 — from Charlottesville to Washington DC — to oppose white supremacy and demand that Trump be removed from office.
The “March to confront white supremacy” will take 10 days to reach the US Capitol, when participants will occupy it and engage in non-violent demonstrations with the objective of removing Trump from the presidency.
Indeed, this could well be the beginning of Trump’s political road to Waterloo — ignited by his abominable, racist pardon.
So Trump has rescinded DACA, the program protecting young people brought here as children who are subject to deportation.
Seventy-seven percent of them are from Mexico. Here are the next three most common DACA countries of origin:
El Salvador 4%
Ninety-seven percent of the DACA population is Latin American and Hispanic. No wonder Trump wants to rescind the program. He’s a bigot:
Long before Trump ran for President, the Justice Department sued Trump’s company – twice – for refusing to rent to African-Americans.
Trump campaigned on building a wall on the Mexican border – for the express purpose of keeping out the Mexicans – as well as denying visas to Muslims because they are Muslim.
He attacked a federal judge because the judge’s parents were Mexican.
He has banned visits from seven Muslim countries, an executive order still tied up in court.
He ordered the removal of the transgendered from the U.S. military.
He said that “some” of the pro-Nazi and pro-Klan marchers in Charlottesville are “good people.”
He pardoned Joe Arpaio, who essentially ordered his police force to stop and arrest people if they looked Hispanic, and was heading to prison for it.
If Donald Trump isn’t a racist, he sure seems like one. And – far worse, when you’re President of the United States — he sure acts like one.
Whether it’s by impeachment or resignation, Donald Trump has got to go. Sign our petition to the White House, telling him that. >> Please, tell the bigot what you think of him and share the petition with your community.
When it comes down to it, the only crime of these young undocumented Americans is loving this country too much. They deserve the right to stay here and contribute to our communities without fear of deportation.
President Trump, on the other hand, may be guilty of treason, along with a whole slew of other transgressions. He doesn’t deserve to our President — and that’s why we’re counting on you to help us deport him from the White House.
So add your name to our petition, and share it far and wide. Let’s dump Trump together.
Trump delenda est,
Friday 8th September 2017
posted by Morning Star in Features
The president’s threat to deport 800,000 mostly Latino immigrants panders to white supremacists and must be stopped whatever it takes, says Mark Gruenberg
WASHINGTON — Josue de Luna was brought to the US at age nine from Torreoncoachila, Mexico. He’s studying in chemical and biological engineering at the University of New Mexico and wants to enter medical school. Donald Trump won’t give him a chance.
Eric Prez now lives near the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He came to the US at age 7 and now he’s among 27 people fasting to show how much they dream of staying here, which is their real home.
The third-year student in business administration dreams of finishing his education and fears Trump’s Homeland Security Department will use his information under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to deport him.
Brandon Diaz came to the US at age five from Guerrero, Mexico. Now he’s 20, lives in Baltimore and is an activist for Casa de Maryland, the union-backed group in the District of Columbia and Baltimore areas which helps new immigrants — some of them undocumented — to adjust to life in the US.
“I’m fasting, too, because I don’t want people to go and abandon their dreams,” he says.
And Cynthia Toyco of Rogers, Arkansas, now 33, is married to a US citizen but she came here at age seven from Peru, walking thousands of miles with other refugees.
“We were three to three and a half months on foot. We were stalked and robbed and nearly lost our lives,” she says, fleeing repression and war in Peru, where a right-wing government and opposition guerillas both preyed on the population.
“We have been here paying taxes and paying back taxes,” Toyco says of herself and other “Dreamers” — undocumented people brought to the US as children — “and nothing’s been returned to us, because we’re not citizens.” Now Trump wants to return her to Peru.
Prez, de Luna, Toyco and Diaz were among the dozens of Dreamers and almost a thousand people who gathered at the White House on Tuesday morning in the first of two protests there that day urging Republican President Donald Trump to extend former president Barack Obama’s DACA programme. He didn’t listen.
Instead, Trump rejected the 800,000 Dreamers, congressional Democrats, union leaders, the leading presidential contender for next year’s Mexican election and even some business executives and Republicans.
His attorney general, Jeff Sessions — known for his hatred of Latinos and immigrants — declared: “I am here today to announce the program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded.”
This is the same Sessions who has always hated all immigrants, documented and undocumented.
Sessions, who failed to get Senate approval of his bid for a judgeship because of his racist activities, has praised immigration laws enacted in the US in the 1920s.
Those were laws designed by eugenecists whose racist theories were later used by Adolf Hitler and the nazis.
Those immigration laws were based on the goal of preserving “healthy Anglo-Saxon racial stock” in the US.
Trump and Sessions said the programme will die in six months and while expiring work permits — which DACA lets the undocumented people apply for and get — will be extended, no new applicants will be approved. And Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers will arrest and deport Dreamers when they find them, a Trump homeland security department official told news services.
The five-year-old programme lets the Dreamers work, enroll in school, graduate, join the military and generally become a recognised part of society rather than living in the shadows.
Trump challenged Congress to act on the issue before he starts the mass deportations.
Given past history — rightwingers killed the Dream Act through a 2010 Senate filibuster and trashed comprehensive immigration reform before that — such legislative relief is unlikely at best.
His claims that he will “revisit” the issue if Congress doesn’t act are not being taken seriously either.
If he were serious he would be calling on Congress to pass the Dream Act — instead, he has unleashed his racist attorney general on the Dreamers.
Like the four Dreamers quoted above, all the 800,000 have made lives for themselves in the US — the only country they’ve ever known.
That assertion was among union leaders’ points in denouncing Trump’s decision, which plays to his anti-Latino, anti-immigrant base.
Two of the trade unionists, speaking for Asian-Pacific Americans and for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), went beyond denunciations, pledging active resistance to Dreamer deportations.
“This shameful move is cruel and only seeks to fuel Trump’s anti-immigrant and racist agenda,” said SEIU executive vice-president Rocio Saenz.
“But let it be clear: SEIU members and our communities won’t let President Trump’s actions stop us from standing up for immigrant families.
“We vow to stand together, mobilise on an unprecedented scale to resist these racist attacks against all communities of colour.
“United, we’ll use this fight to build our movement so we can drive a turnaround in 2018 to change the direction of the country and win a US where immigrant families and all working people have a say at work and in our political system through unions and where every family and community have the opportunity to thrive.”
Monica Thammarath, president of the Asian-Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) added: “Know that we will protect, defend and fight with you — our immigrant brothers, sisters and siblings — from raids, detention, and deportation.
“We are committed as ever to do everything in our power to stop this mass deportation agenda and to make sure white supremacists and their agenda have no place in the White House or at any level of government now and in the future”.
A group representing undocumented Asians organised the second White House demonstration last Tuesday.
Deporting Dreamers “is a disgrace,” said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, executive secretary-treasurer of Culinary Workers Local 226 in Las Vegas.
“This is not what the US represents, nor is it who we are. This policy is another clear example of white supremacy strategies and tactics and we denounce it. This administration is attacking 800,000 young immigrant workers who pay taxes and are essential to the economy. This policy change was completely at President Trump’s discretion and we will hold him accountable for it,” she vowed.
Communications Workers of America president Chris Shelton called Trump’s deportation of Dreamers “cruel and mean-spirited. These young people were brought here by their parents at a very young age. They know no other home than the United States and have made productive, successful lives here.”
He urged retaining DACA until Congress resolves the issue.
Trump is “upending the lives — and the dreams — of more than 850,000 young people. And for what? To stoke resentment and fear?” American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten asked.
Weingarten cited the case of an AFT member and Dreamer, who now teaches high-school Spanish in Austin, Texas.
She’s an example of how DACA lets “young immigrants who were brought here as children to remain in the United States by giving them temporary protection from deportation and permission to legally work. The young people covered by DACA are woven into the fabric of US society. They contribute to our economic growth and our diversity.
“The US is stronger when we value people and create opportunity to achieve the American Dream, regardless of demography or geography,” Weingarten said, calling on Congress to protect the Dreamers. “We are fighting for the soul of the US.”
“It is now incumbent on the Republican-led Congress to pass the bipartisan Dream Act,” United Auto Workers president Dennis Williams added.
“If Congress fails over 800,000 of our friends, neighbours and many fellow union members who came to the US as children, pay taxes, raise families and contribute vital services to our economy, risk deportation to a strange land that many do not know and cannot recollect.
“Enough is enough. We cannot let the American Dream become hostage to a politically extreme agenda that seeks to divide us.”
For so long, young people who came to this country as kids through no choice of their own, have been forced to live in the shadows, too afraid to come forward because they don’t trust that our government won’t come after them. Even after DACA was put in place, so many were too afraid to apply because if the program got taken away, the government would know where they live and could go after them and their families.
But 800,000 young people in this country took that leap of faith, applied for DACA, and have relied on it to obtain an education, earn a living, and establish themselves in our communities.
The current administration’s decision on Tuesday to end DACA leaves them feeling betrayed and afraid after they put their trust in our government.
Last week on Maui, I sat down with some of Hawaii’s DREAMers and heard their stories about living every day in fear of deportation until DACA was put into effect. They shared their stories of the opportunity and freedom they have experienced because of DACA, and the fear of uncertainty that now lies before them, with the prospects of their government targeting them and forcing them to leave the only home they’ve ever known.
This is not a partisan issue. It’s an issue that affects communities all across this country. DACA’s termination is a call for Congress to act now. We should take this opportunity to actually fix the problem once and for all and provide a permanent solution for these DREAMers, so they are not forced back into the shadows.
I have had many conversations with people about this issue. I have spoken with those that support DACA, and those that do not support it. However, the most important part of any conversation about immigration and DACA is to be informed with the facts.
What is DACA?
DACA is a temporary program instituted by President Barack Obama that defers immigration action and provides relief from deportation for people who were brought into the United States as children and gives them a work permit.
Who is eligible for DACA?
The people who apply for and receive DACA must meet a number of requirements, including: they were under the age of 16 when they were brought into the U.S., they have lived most of their lives here, they are in school or have graduated or are an honorably discharged member of the military, they have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors.
How many people have DACA?
There are around 800,000 recipients of DACA right now in the U.S.
What can I do?
At the Sanders Institute, we believe that being informed, engaged, and involved in the discussion about an issue and a policy like DACA are the first crucial steps.
Visit the Sanders Institute to learn more about DACA, sanctuary cities, and other immigration issues.
Thank you for staying engaged,
Sanders Institute Fellow
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