Earlier this week, President Trump announced a mean-spirited decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The initiative, created five years ago under the Obama administration, has allowed nearly 800,000 undocumented young people brought to the United States as children to live, work, and study without fear of deportation. Community Learning Partnership (CLP) stands with DACA recipients, known as “Dreamers,” and joins our allies in condemning the President’s heartless move to end this program.
Thanks to DACA’s protections, numerous undocumented CLP students and alumni have been able to receive an education and pursue community change careers at institutions all across the country. Despite the efforts of CLP “Dreamers” to address issues of inequality and injustice in our cities and neighborhoods, they may now be faced with deportation from the very country they are actively seeking to improve. Ending DACA not only places the futures of thousands of families in jeopardy, it also deprives neighborhoods of countless hardworking and community-minded agents of change.
“DACA provided undocumented youth such as myself with many benefits we would not have had otherwise,” said Angelica Esquivel, a DACA recipient and CLP alumnus who now works for the Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action at De Anza College. “But I also knew DACA was never permanent, and it left out ten million other undocumented immigrants. Yes, my parents brought me to this country when I was little, but that does not make them criminals. It makes them resilient survivors.”
Comprehensive immigration legislation has long been overdue in the United States, but its passage has been made all the more critical this week thanks to the administration’s reckless decision to end DACA. “CLP calls on Congress to finally enact the Dream Act,” said CLP’s Executive Director, Ken Rolling, in reference to legislation that would codify the DACA program into law. “But we shouldn’t stop there. We must fight for legislation that provides all undocumented immigrants, who are our friends, neighbors, classmates and colleagues, with a path to legal residency.”
CLP pledges to fight alongside DACA youth, community groups, educational institutions, businesses and other advocates to ensure Congress passes legislation that affords the sense of security that undocumented immigrants and their families deserve. For some simple ways to fight back against the administration’s anti-immigrant agenda, visit our friends at We Are Here to Stay.