September 5, 2017 — Cleveland, OH
AJC Condemns Presidential Action Against DACA
AJC condemned President Trump’s decision to terminate DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“’Dismantling DACA is a devastating blow to hundreds of thousands of young people who have benefited from the program—and who have in turn contributed to communities across the country in which they live,” said Richard T. Foltin, AJC Director of National and Legislative Affairs. “Welcoming, not penalizing, these young people, who, as children, could not have knowingly violated any law, is in consonance with our nation’s foundational principles.”
The President’s order delays the expiration of DACA until March 5, 2018, and calls on Congress to replace DACA with new legislation. Meanwhile, the government will no longer accept new applications from undocumented immigrants.
Foltin called on Congress “to move expeditiously to pass the Dream Act of 2017 (S.1615/H.R.3440), bipartisan legislation that will provide these young immigrants protection from deportation and an opportunity to obtain legal status if they meet certain requirements.”
“We are deeply disappointed in the administration's decision to rescind the DACA program,” added Lee C. Shapiro, Regional Director, AJC Cleveland. “This action is antithetical to our deeply held American and Jewish values. These young people, brought to the United States as children, know no other country -- they are among our best and brightest, and contribute greatly to our communities.
“We will continue to work with our coalition partners to urge passage of the DREAM Act of 2017, and call on our elected officials to speak out against this action.”
Since its creation by executive order in 2012, DACA has protected the legal status of nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants whose parents brought them to the U.S. as children. DACA enabled them to work and go to school so long as they passed a background check and had no criminal records. Having kept the program in place since taking office, the President is acting against it now in response to a threat by ten states hostile to DACA to sue the federal government if the program was not dismantled by September 5.
AJC has been active in the coalition of religious and civic groups that supported DACA from the start, and that has urged Congress to enact legislation extending DACA or making it permanent. Earlier this year, AJC commended the Trump Administration for leaving the program in place, at least for a time.