Announced on September 5, 2017
On September 5, 2017, President Trump ordered an end to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement, stating that the program will start to be phased out within the next six months. Shortly thereafter, Trump called upon Congress to “Legalize DACA!” and draft new legislation to replace the policy as part of his plan to overhaul the current immigration system. DACA is a policy established by the Obama administration in 2012 that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation by providing those who entered the country as minors with a two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit. It is estimated that approximately 800,000 young people, known as “Dreamers,” are enrolled in DACA.
Shutting down DACA is a hugely cruel misstep that completely upends the lives of the estimated 800,000 Dreamers, making all of these young people eligible for deportation. Many DACA recipients came to the United States at such a young age that they know no other country to be home, only to be forced back to a land that is now foreign to them.
The economic impact of ending DACA would also be devastating: shutting down the program could cost the federal government an estimated $60 billion over the next 10 years, with an overall economic impact of $200 billion according to a CATO Institute study.
Now, it is up to Congress to pass the Dream Act in order to protect the Dreamers enrolled in DACA.
- Urge Your Representative to Support the Dream Act through ACLU Action: Send a message to your representative asking them to support the Dream Act by clicking here.
- Get Involved with Here to Stay: Here to Stay is a campaign run by United We Dream aimed at defending DACA. The organization hosts local Defend DACA rallies and other events, holds community calls, and provides resources for understanding DACA, as well as mental health resources for anyone who is affected by Trump’s decision to end DACA.
- Take Action with the National Immigration Law Center: Since 1979, NILC has been exclusively dedicated to defending immigrants with low income. Through impact litigation, policy analysis and advocacy, and strategic communications, NILC advances the rights of those who came here in search of a better life. You can help NILC advance its mission by donating or attending one of their training or educational events.
This brief was compiled by Allie Blum. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.