Defending DACA

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

By: Ashmar Mandou

On Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the legality of the Trump administration’s termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The outcome of this case will determine the future of nearly 700,000 young people across the country, including 15,200 in Illinois. Pediatricians, children’s advocates, and parents across the nation were asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider this fact when reviewing the Trump administration’s closure of the program. The DACA case affects children in every state, but the largest number live in: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas.

Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) issued the following statement as the Supreme Court begins proceedings regarding the Trump Administration’s attempt to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

“Seven years ago, when President Obama announced the DACA program, he gave nearly 800,000 young people a chance to build a future in the only country they call home, the United States. Two years ago, as part of his cruel immigration policies, President Trump decided to end the program. Now the Supreme Court is hearing arguments on the case. This morning, I met with young people from Chicago who shared their stories about how important the DACA program has been for them. Eric shared with me that he was brought to the US when he was less than a year old. He explained that DACA has allowed him the freedom to pursue an education and seek a brighter future for his family. The American people support DACA recipients. In fact, nine in 10 Americans want them to stay in the United States because they understand this is their home. While we await the Court’s decision, Senator McConnell could provide a permanent solution for DACA recipients by passing H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, in the Senate.  The choice is clear – we must keep our promise to Dreamers. We must continue working until we provide a path to citizenship.”

Need a refresher on DACA and Dreamers?

In 2012, President Barack Obama introduced the program, which shields people who were brought to the United States as children from deportation. It was intended as a stopgap measure, and didn’t provide a pathway to citizenship. Recipients who aren’t veterans have to be enrolled in high school or have a diploma or G.E.D. and cannot — contrary to what President Trump has said — have a serious criminal history. In 2017, President Trump moved to end the program after nine conservative state attorneys general threatened to sue over it.

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