Yesterday, news broke that President Trump may end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, putting nearly 800,000 young people at risk of deportation. This breaks promises he made earlier this year when he said, “We are gonna deal with DACA with heart…I do have a big heart. We’re going to take care of everybody.” But pressure inside and outside the White House from a small group of extremists could be swaying the president in the other direction, as well as 10 states threatening to sue the administration if the program is not cancelled by September 5. Although it sounds like no final decision has yet been made, the news caused immediate concern among immigration group and advocates.
What happens if DACA is ended? Hundreds of thousands of young people will lose their jobs and be at immediate risk of deportation. Removing 685,000 workers from the economy would forego $460.3 billion in GDP over 10 years. A report by the Center for American Progress (CAP) found that ending DACA could cost states billions of dollars—such as $1.3 billion lost in GDP annually from Arizona and $1.5 billion in GDP lost annually from Florida. Additionally, researchers at CAP reported that DACA helps beneficiaries receive an education, find a quality job, and earn higher wages. All of these benefits translate to a more inclusive, powerful economy and stronger, healthier families and communities.
The public recognizes the importance of DACA. A poll from April 2017 found that over three-quarters of registered voters supported allowing DREAMers to stay, and over half said they should eventually gain citizenship. Ending DACA is not what the country wants—and if Trump makes this cruel decision, hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth will be at risk.
ACTION OF THE DAY
#DefendDACA. With so many at risk, it’s crucial that we make our voices heard TODAY! Use this easy tool to call key elected officials, and urge them to defend DACA. You can also call your own representative here. Then, find out if a rally is happening in your city, and join in with signs that say “Defend DACA!”
Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Harvey will make landfall in Texas over the weekend, and is already projected to be “catastrophic.” While FEMA is preparing for the storm, President Trump has been quietly rolling back policies to help prepare the nation for more extreme weather. Just last week he signed an executive order that will divert taxpayer dollars to risky infrastructure investments in flood-prone areas as a gift to developers and big corporations. And earlier this year, he made orders to stall action to address climate change and help the nation to prepare for more extreme weather disasters. But as we’re seeing unfold in Texas, pretending climate change is a hoax doesn’t make the extreme weather it causes go away.
Keep It Public. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke sent the President a report yesterday on his recommendations for several national parks and monuments. Although the report remains secret, the Washington Post reported the Secretary is proposing to dramatically shrink at least three national monuments of vast public land, including Utah’s Bears Ears and Oregon’s Cascade-Sisikiyou National Monument. To continue the fight to save our public lands from special interests and urge the administration to stop its attacks on our wilderness, head to SaveOurOutdoors.com.
Who’s Paying For It? It was a common refrain throughout Trump’s campaign: “Who’s going to pay for the wall? Mexico!” Yet, this week, Trump has threatened a government shutdown if Congress won’t grant him $1.6 billion for the border wall. Which begs the question: what happened to Mexico paying for it? Once the absurdity of this idea was revealed—and Mexico quickly shut it down—Trump and his surrogates have been backed into a corner about the payments. That was highlighted yesterday, when Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was unable to explain the change.
Women’s Health Under Attack. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster released a new executive order today, ordering that no state or local funds be used for “abortion clinics.” Additionally, he told the state’s Department of Health and Human Services to “seek waivers from the federal government allowing it to exclude abortion clinics from the state’s Medicaid network.”
UNDER THE RADAR
Gerrymandering. In another huge win for voting rights in Texas, a federal court ruled that the Texas House must redraw its map before the 2018 elections. The unanimous ruling indicated that the map “purposefully maintained the intentional discrimination” that was used in the prior map. But the fight to stop voter suppression efforts is not over. Trump’s Election Integrity Commission still stands. Call on the members of the commission to #QuitTheCommission using our handy tool!