President Donald Trump on Tuesday began dismantling the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children.
The program was created by the Obama administration in 2012.
- RELATED STORY: Bay Area Politicians Denounce DACA Decision
- RELATED STORY: 'Heartbroken' and 'Scared' DACA Recipients Condemn Decision
Tuesday's announcement triggered a host of rallies across the Bay Area. In addition, many politicians and officials are reacting to Trump's decision to end the DACA program.
Here's what they are saying:
Former President Barack Obama:
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi:
President Trump’s decision to end DACA is a deeply shameful act of political cowardice and a despicable assault on innocent young people in communities across America. Deporting DREAMers means destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of patriotic young people, costing the economy billions and betraying the fundamental values of the American Dream.
The President’s cruel and heartless decision to start deporting DREAMers in six months demands an immediate response from the Republican Congress. Speaker Ryan and the Republican House leadership must bring the DREAM Act to the floor for a vote without delay.
Senator Kamala D. Harris:
DACA recipients make our nation strong and represent the best of America. The President's decision undermines our nation’s values and is a cruel betrayal to the more than 800,000 young people, including more than 200,000 Californians, who have only ever known the United States of America as their home.
Dreamers are Americans in every way except a piece of paper. With this decision, President Trump is telling classmates of our children they don't belong, employees of Fortune 100 companies they aren't welcome, and saying to those who serve in our military and run small businesses that they should leave. These young people deserve better than that. They came out of the shadows and submitted every detail of their personal lives to prove that they were lawful, productive members of our society. By turning his back on our young Dreamers and their families, President Trump has once again sided with division and hate.
The consequences of this decision will be devastating. It will split up families, force young people back to countries they never knew, and cost our economy billions of dollars. It is heartless.
Now more than ever, it is time we roll up our sleeves and stand with these young people who contribute to our community and our economy. Republicans in Congress must immediately allow a vote on the DREAM Act, a bipartisan bill we introduced again this summer. We are better than this.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee:
The United States of America is, has been, and will always be a nation of immigrants. As such, our immigration policies should be focused on keeping families together, not tearing them apart.
Undocumented students who were brought to the U.S. through no fault of their own are working, going to school, living their lives, and contributing billions to the American economy. For five years, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has allowed these innocent young adults to remain united with their families and safely reside in their communities.
Ending DACA in order to deport its nearly 800,000 recipients is cruel and heartless. Instead of devastating families, President Trump and Republicans should be working toward comprehensive immigration reform to permanently fix our broken immigration system.
Since President Trump has abandoned these young people, Congress must have the courage to do the right thing. I call on my colleagues to pass bipartisan legislation that will give qualified DACA recipients a path to citizenship and move to stop the raids by ICE and CBP in our communities, which undermine public safety and erode trust between local law enforcement and immigrant communities.
Congresswoman Anna Eshoo:
When President Obama established DACA in 2012, the program created a ray of hope for those who were brought to the United States as young children and they are Americans in every way except on paper. President Trump's decision today to terminate this program diminishes that hope for the bright young DREAMers who now call America home.
Over 787,000 individuals have received relief from deportation under the DACA program, allowing them to obtain work permits, pursue higher education, obtain driver’s licenses, and contribute their talents to our nation. These children put their faith in our government when they chose to come out of the shadows and I will fight with all that I have to ensure Congress passes legislation to overrule the President's irresponsible action and ensure that these children can remain in the only country they have ever known.
U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren:
President Trump’s cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program creates a moral emergency for our nation. Some 800,000 DACA recipients brought to the United States as children are today vital members of our communities and economy. They are as American as any of us – except for paperwork. President Trump’s decision to turn his back on them betrays our national character.
The threat of court proceedings is an inadequate excuse. President Trump has never been reluctant to go to court when he thinks it would benefit him. In this instance, over 100 law professors recently affirmed that “the legal authority for the Executive Branch to operate DACA…is crystal clear.
The impetus for the President’s action seems just as clear: an extremist, racist agenda. Seventy-eight percent of Americans oppose the deportation of such young people. However, groups tied to the white nationalist movement have long sought DACA’s destruction. Once again, President Trump seems to bend to the will of extremists rather than mainstream Americans, just as he did while condoning white supremacists in Charlottesville.
Congress must stop this mass deportation of innocent young people. Democratic lawmakers already stand united in our support for DACA recipients, as we do in rejecting attempts to use them as props in broader anti-immigrant legislation. The Dream Act of 2017 (H.R. 3440), which I proudly co-sponsored, would grant them the legal status and path to citizenship that they deserve. The only question is whether Republicans will join the right side of history.
The moral stakes could not be higher. The fate of some 800,000 of our nation’s young people who will forever consider America home hangs in the balance.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo:
The Attorney General's announcement of the Trump Administration's rescission of DACA abandons 800,000 of America's hardest-working, most patriotic residents. Punting the issue to Congress, without any affirmative leadership to enact a legislative solution, amounts to a cowardly cop-out, placing the futures of these young women and men in serious jeopardy.
To San Jose's tens of thousands of DREAMers, we reiterate: ‘We've got your back.’ I will seek to challenge the Administration's actions in court, after consulting with our Council and City Attorney regarding our options in the week ahead.
History will not forgive Donald Trump for abandoning our DREAMers.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón:
Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will be eliminated, creating the very real possibility that as many as 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children may be returned to countries that they have never known. By ending this program the administration continues to drive our nation’s immigrant population further into the shadows. This has the effect of undermining cooperation with law enforcement, cooperation that often leads to the apprehension and prosecution of violent offenders - the true danger to law and order.
While job growth is slowing, health care costs are soaring, and as new threats emerge from around the globe, this action epitomizes the misplaced priorities of an administration unable to advance any meaningful public policy. This is yet another deeply troubling indication that Donald Trump's playbook has only one move: Pedal hate and absurd policies that appease America's fringe right wing white nationalists.
The administration's move puts the fate of these DREAMers in Congress' hands. While Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions continue to propagate the politics of fear, Congress has the opportunity to show the world, and the xenophobes among us, what America truly stands for.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera:
President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was not only heartless, it was cowardly. This president just cut short the future of 800,000 children, but he is trying to shift the blame to Congress. Children should not be used as political pawns by a president who doesn’t even have the guts to go before the American people and announce this decision himself. Deporting children who have known no other home than America makes no sense. This president has just put the next generation of young American leaders in peril.
The hypocrisy of this administration is also galling. Attorney General Jeff Sessions claims DACA was an attempt to circumvent Congress, yet that is exactly what this administration is doing with the president’s executive order on sanctuary cities and their attempt to unlawfully add new conditions to law enforcement grants. Once again, this administration is showing its contempt for the facts and the law.
San Francisco Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer:
I am angered by Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement today about rescinding DACA, and am fully committed to stand with the thousands of undocumented immigrants in our city, and in particular today with those who are participants in the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals Program.
While I still hope for comprehensive immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship, the DACA program is a critical step for young people who arrived as children in the United States, to come out of the shadows and participate fully in economic and educational opportunities. We as a society have also benefited from these young people who have joined our work force and are working toward higher education.
As a country we should be expanding programs like this rather than threatening to shut them down. And as a city, we need to come together and strongly denounce these attacks on our immigrant communities.
California Latino Legislative Caucus
President Trump is once again demonstrating that he is unfit to hold office,” said Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) who serves as Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus. “The Latino Caucus condemns the decision by the President to eliminate DACA. This move is a dishonorable, cowardly, and malicious betrayal for the 800,000 Dreamers across our great nation. This is particularly egregious when one considers that the people being betrayed are children who have studied hard and done everything that was asked of them by our country and its leaders.”
President Trump’s decision is hateful, inhumane and will have a devastating impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent, hard-working people,” added Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, the Caucus’ Vice Chair (D- San Diego). “It will also be terrible for our economy, costing this nation untold billions in economic output. His decision is indefensible as a matter of policy and a betrayal of our nation’s values.”
Polls have consistently shown that DACA enjoys overwhelming support across the nation. The President’s disgraceful action comes days after he pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt for flagrantly violating the constitutional rights of Latinos.
California will continue to stand with immigrants, especially immigrant children,” said Hueso, “We will do everything in our power to ensure they are treated fairly and with dignity in this great state.
Council on American Islamic Relations Executive Director Nihad Awad:
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 to 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.
Service Employees International Union USWW President David Huerta:
The Trump Administration has once again shown that they lack compassion and an understanding of the needs of the American people by now targeting 800,000 young men and women, who know no other home than the United States. These DACA recipients are bravely pursuing the right to go to school, work and fulfill their American dream.
We urge Republicans in Congress to stand up for these hardworking Dreamers. You have an opportunity to deliver a policy that upholds American values of hard work and determination and not allow hate or fear to guide decisions and law.
To the Dreamers who have boldly fought for their place in this country: we continue to stand in solidarity with you and we will fight every step of the way to protect your right to live and work in this nation with dignity and respect.
California Endowment President and CEO Dr. Robert K. Ross:
The revocation of DACA is a colossal breach in our nation’s progress towards a more equitable and inclusive society. It’s an injustice not only to our fellow community members with DACA status, but to all Californians and for that matter, all Americans. Ending the DACA program threatens the health and well-being of our neighborhoods, our families and our very humanity. Our economy stands to take a significant hit to the tune of billions of dollars, and the very fabric of our democracy is forever scarred.
This year, amidst great strife, we've seen the people of California rise up again and again to fight racism, hatred, and fear. It is more important now than ever to #RiseUpAsOne, and I know our communities won't stand down to this latest challenge. We reaffirm the fight to protect DREAMers, DACA recipients, and the entire immigrant community. We will continue to share their stories, share their battles, and stand up for what is right.
The California Endowment stands in solidarity with all of our friends, neighbors, and staff – no matter where they come from – in an unwavering commitment to justice and health for all.
Rep. Huffman (D-San Rafael):
President Trump’s decision to terminate the DACA program is a cruel, broken promise that will harm hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought here as children and have lived as Americans for their entire lives. When Trump promised to spare DREAMers from his unforgiving deportation plans, he was, yet again, blowing hot air. This is not just another broken Donald Trump promise, it’s a violation of the core values that America and our communities are built on.
These DREAMers have grown up in America: they’ve studied at our schools, enrolled in our universities, served in our military, and contribute every day to our economy and our society. Now President Trump — who pardoned Joe Arpaio for unforgivable racial profiling and violating a judge’s order — believes that these young people ought to be deported, or that they should stop working and instead disappear into the shadows.
Congress must now act to give the DREAMers a chance to earn their way to citizenship and stay in the country that they call home. This is a test for the leadership of the House and Senate: will we just hear empty expressions of concern, or will they actually take a stand and work with us to immediately bring the American Hope Act of 2017 to a vote, to protect these deserving young people from Donald Trump and set them on a path to earned citizenship. Congress needs to act now to fix our broken immigration system.
Every community around the country will feel the effect of Donald Trump’s reckless DACA reversal. In my own district, I have met with young DREAMers who are upstanding members of the community, including children whose parents are already facing deportation orders. I will continue to do everything in my power to defend these families from Donald Trump’s cowardly, destructive, and un-American decision to end the DACA program.
Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel):
The President has rescinded an unconstitutional executive order from the prior administration that he had committed to reverse during the campaign. Now the real work must begin.
It is imperative that Congress pass a lasting legislative solution that will ensure that 800,000 young people, who have done nothing wrong, can continue to pursue their educations, careers and contributions to our great nation. This will only happen with bipartisan leadership from Congress and the President. Both Republicans and Democrats must come together to develop the immigration reforms that have sadly never materialized under presidential administrations and legislative majorities of both parties. Delay and inaction are no longer options.
San Jose State University President Mary A. Papazian:
As I previously have observed, ensuring access to a quality education is neither a partisan nor political issue; it is our mission. Since its adoption in 2012, DACA has provided stability and opportunity to many students and some of the faculty and staff members who serve them. Every one of these individuals is intrinsic to the fabric of our uniquely diverse community. Viewed through this lens, today’s news is deeply disappointing.
Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent Donald Evans and School Board President Ty Alper:
The President's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will have a profound and devastating effect on many of our students, and their families, and their friends. Even if Congress does act to protect DACA in the coming months, the President’s action has caused pain and anguish in our community and across our nation.
We want our community to know that we support the right of all students to attend school, and we do not record the immigration status of our students and families. We will continue to work with our community partners, such as the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, the East Bay Community Law Center, and the Centro Legal de La Raza to support our undocumented students and families.
We stand with our immigrant families; they are valued members of our community, and we will protect and support them in any way that we can.
Oakland City Councilmember Abel Guillén:
To our Dreamers: You are fighters, you are resilient. We stand with you and for you in this struggle. The vast majority of Californians and Americans stand with you: They see you serving bravely in our military, pursuing your education in hopes of a better life, working hard, creating small businesses, paying taxes, and helping every day to make our nation stronger. We stand united in this fight because this cause is bigger than you alone. We will win because your American Dream is the same as that of all the people born in this country. Our shared principles of freedom, fairness and opportunity are much bigger than the narrow-minded and short-sighted claims of this Republican administration. Our country is bigger – and better – than Trump.
To those who aren’t sure if DACA is a good idea: The 800,000 DACA recipients make a positive contribution to America’s economy, as do the more than 220,000 who live, work and study in California grow our state’s prosperity. Alameda County has 17,000 DACA-eligible residents.
By some estimates, an average of 30,000 workers could lose their jobs every month once DACA provisions are eliminated. The loss of those workers could cost $460.3 billion in national economic output over the next decade. Medicare and Social Security contributions could fall by $24.6 billion. Canceling DACA will affect all of us – especially “documented” Baby Boomers and retirees. Nobody is immune from the impacts of this short-sighted action. DACA is not just “their” fight, it’s everybody’s responsibility.
Now that President Trump has rescinded the DACA executive order, we must demand that Congress and the Senate pass legislation that guarantees protections for Dreamers – and prosperity for all of us. There are already legislative options on the table, including the DREAM Act of 2017, the Bridge Act or the American Hope Act. We will be mobilizing public support in legislative chambers and in the streets for new protections, and I will be introducing an Oakland City Council resolution asking Congress to defend our Dreamers.
San Mateo County Supervisor David J. Canepa:
The Trump Administration’s move to end DACA is bad for America in every possible way. There are 800,000 youth in the United States who have benefited from this progressive immigration policy. But now they live in fear of being deported because their parents sought better lives for their children here in the United States. We must keep the dreams of Dreamers alive by standing in solidarity with them,” Supervisor Canepa said.
DACA allowed young immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, work permits and deferred their deportation as long as certain requirements were met. With DACA, young immigrants have been able to pursue higher education and personal career goals.
San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools candidate Dr. Gary Waddell:
As educators in San Mateo County, our mission is to serve all children and youth and provide for their provide for their education and well-being. This mission has been undermined by President Trump’s action to end DACA. In spite of this, we will persist for the benefit and well-being of all students regardless of their background or immigration status.
Let’s remember that San Mateo County is the heart of Silicon Valley, the birthplace of innovation and possibility. We welcome immigrant students seeking to better themselves, their families, and our larger community. We celebrate their diversity and the manner that it enriches us all.
Diversity and inclusion make us a stronger and more just society. Children should not live in fear of deportation. These children are in our country, for many of them the only home that they have only ever known, through no fault of their own. They should have the same opportunity to live lives of hope and promise in this country of immigrants.
These values are reflected in the functions of the County Office of Education, which include providing leadership in equity and innovation, and ensuring that all of our students have a strong education and the promise of a bright future.
As County Superintendent of Schools, I will act to protect students in keeping with County Office of Education’s mission of “Equity and Excellence in Education,” to engage with all of the diverse communities of San Mateo County, and to stay true to our greater calling and purpose as educators and Americans.
Telemundo stands with the 800,000 Dreamers who are integral to the economy, culture and spirit of our nation. We are disheartened by the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In addition to the human impact of this decision, repealing DACA will result in the loss of thousands of jobs in the United States and billions of dollars in economic growth over the next decade. We urge Congress to act swiftly to preserve the rights of these valuable members of our community. All of our elected representatives should be held accountable toward this end.