This morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions took to the podium to announce that the Trump administration is rescinding DACA, the program that has allowed nearly 800,000 young immigrants the opportunity to get a temporary reprieve from deportation and a work permit. (Learn more about DACA here.) This decision comes despite Trump’s numerous claims that he would treat dreamers “with heart.” And it’s notable that Sessions, a long-time vocal opponent of immigrants, was the one chosen to make the announcement, while Trump remained hidden from the cameras.
Although Sessions offered little details on the “phase-out” of DACA entails, a DHS press release revealed a bit more. The plan will prevent consideration of any new applications received after today, but it will allow DACA recipients to apply for a two-year renewal, if their permit expires before March 5, 2018. But starting on March 6, over a thousand Dreamers will lose their protections each day, and be potentially subject to deportation. Supposedly, this six-month window is to allow Congress to take action to save dreamers. But let’s not forget where this decision is coming from: It’s coming from Trump, who just last month defended white nationalists in Charlottesville and pardoned the infamous, racist Joe Arpaio. Today’s announcement is just another indication that this administration will continue to embrace white nationalist, nativist policies.
When DACA is eliminated, 800,000 young people will lose their jobs and face the risk of immediate deportation. Communities and families will be devastated, and dreamers will lose the only home they’ve ever known: the U.S. The end of DACA also negatively affects our economy. Removing roughly 700,000 workers from the economy would forego $460.3 billion in GDP over the next decade. A report by the Center for American Progress found that ending DACA could cost states billions of dollars—such as $1.6 billion from New Jersey and $6.3 billion from Texas. In Harris County, Texas, one of the hardest hit areas from Hurricane Harvey, the repeal of DACA would force 28,000 workers out of jobs.
With nearly a million young peoples’ lives at stake, now is the time for action. Congress must pass the Dream Act without any provisions to use dreamers as a bargaining chip for border wall funding. See below on how you can take action NOW.
ACTION OF THE DAY
#HereToStay. The Trump administration has turned its back on hundreds of thousands of young immigrants, but we won’t stop fighting to #DefendDreamers! It’s time for Congress to pass the Dream Act without any compromises.
Use our new toolkit to contact the key members of Congress TODAY, and let them know that you stand with Dreamers—and they should too. Then, make your voice heard in more public spaces, by attending a rally. Make sure to bring a sign with #DreamAct or #HereToStay on it!
They’re Baaaack. Congress is now back in session after their August recess, and they have a busy month ahead. What’s on the agenda? The Dream Act, tax reform, health care, hurricane season disaster relief, Russia, the debt ceiling, authorization for the Federal Aviation Administration, funding for the Children’s Health Insurance program, and more. Stay tuned!
Overtime. Today, the Justice Department announced that it “will not defend an Obama-era Labor Department rule that would have extended overtime benefits to more than 4 million workers.” This is disappointing news for so many Americans, especially on the day after Labor Day, which is intended to celebrate and fight for continue workers’ rights and protections.
Hurricanes. As emergency officials continue recovery efforts in Houston after the devastating Hurricane Harvey, another hurricane is poised to make landfall in the United States. Hurricane Irma was upgraded to a Category 5 storm and is continuing to intensify as it heads directly towards Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Governor Rick Scott (R-FL) has already declared a statewide emergency in response. Meanwhile, Trump still wants to cut funding for disaster preparedness and recovery and undo flood management standards.
Where’s the EPA? Over the weekend, the Associated Press reported that the Environmental Protection Agency was relying on aerial footage rather than physically visiting and testing contamination at 13 toxic Superfund sites in the Houston area that had been flooded by Hurricane Harvey. Yet, rather than focusing on Administrator Pruitt’s promise to prioritize Superfund clean up, EPA political appointees issued a personal attack on the reporter about a completely different story he had written earlier in the summer.
Dreamers. During his press conference rescinding DACA, Attorney General Jeff Sessions claimed that DACA recipients take away jobs from American-born individuals. Sessions should probably look at the facts before spreading such misinformation. The reality is that immigrants help all peoples’ wages and job opportunities. Immigrants often have different skill sets, which can help keep “entire industries alive.” They also start businesses of their own, which increases the number of jobs available.