About 800,000 young undocumented immigrants are at risk of deportation, if the president and members of the House and Senate can not make a deal in the next 6 months. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who not only supports increased deportations but has opposed the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program since its inception under President Barack Obama in 2012, has called DACA unconstitutional adding ‘We are people of compassion and we are people of law.’
He has also helped block legislative efforts to help those called ‘Dreamers.’ ‘Dreamers’ refers to those who came to the U.S. as children.
DACA protections last for two years and allow Dreamers to work legally. With the loss of DACA protections, Dreamers might be sent away from the country they’ve lived in since they were children. Initially, government officials had said their focus was on deporting criminals, however this seems to not be the case.
Currently, the U.S. has 43 million immigrants. About 11 million are undocumented- 22 percent of whom are under the age of 25. Dreamers are immigrants who came to the U.S. before turning 16-years-old and have been living in the U.S. since June 15, 2007. 72 percent of Dreamers are in higher education and 60 percent are known organ donors. They contribute $460 billion to the U.S. economy, if the Trump administration succeeds in eliminating DACA some 700,00 would lose jobs.
The decision is likely to be challenged by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.). Even in Congress some Republicans are supportive of Dreamers, some had even introduced a bill- but the White House immediately shot it down in July.
About 1,800 governors, mayors, legislatures and public officials have opposed President Trump’s initiative.
Muslim organizations and interfaith groups have been supportive of Dreamers and most likely plan to join public officials to oppose Trump’s decision. Several churches have already declared their intentions to make houses of God sanctuaries for Dreamers, were they to be deported. Mosques and synagogues have also followed the lead in joining them.
The leading Muslim-American civil rights organization, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), has already condemned President Trump’s termination of DACA as “pandering to the demands of anti-immigrant extremists.” In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
“The American Muslim community and CAIR stand with the 800,000 undocumented young people who were brought to our nation as children, who call the United States home and whose only dream is to come out of the shadows and to stay where they belong.
By terminating DACA, even with a six-month delay or ‘wind down,’ President Trump is pandering to the demands of anti-immigrant extremists and harming our nation by targeting some of the most dynamic and success-oriented members of society. In practical terms, the ‘delay’ in implementing the termination is meaningless for the vast majority of Dreamers and will inevitably result in chaos in their lives.
These young Dreamers deserve the chance to work and study — and to be protected from deportation — while Congress debates broader legislation to fix our broken immigration system.
President Trump’s heartless action will only serve to create fear and anxiety for the Dreamers and their loved ones, and will force them back to living in the shadows, rendering them unable contribute to our nation’s economy.
CAIR encourages state and local officials across the nation to enact policies prohibiting discrimination based on citizenship status and to offer sanctuary and support for Dreamers.
American Muslims will continue to push for measures that protect undocumented youth and support comprehensive immigration reform – reform that includes a roadmap to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million undocumented residents.”
Recently, CAIR National Board Chair Roula Allouch joined more than 1,860 fellow leaders in signing a new “We are with Dreamers” statement calling on President Trump to preserve the DACA program and for Congress to pass a standalone version of the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017.
CAIR has asked community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report here.
Addition to the story since original publication:
The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of leading national and local Muslim-American organizations, has also joined the growing number of civic organizations against the Trump Administration’s decision to end DACA.
“Repealing DACA is not only detrimental to immigrants that have participated in this program, but harms us all by contradicting core American values. Our nation prides itself on the opportunities that we provide and the freedoms that we enjoy. To take these opportunities away from hard working, and contributing members of society is dehumanizing, discriminatory and un-American,” USCO said, in a letter addressed to the White House.