With the end of DACA, more than 800,000 Dreamers - including 40,000 New Yorkers - may face deportation as early as March 2018
Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, State Senator Jesse Hamilton, City Councilmember Jumaane Williams and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito joined other NYC elected officials in decrying President Trump's decision on Tuesday to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The White House announcement caused an immediate nationwide outcry and protests from immigrant groups, elected officials and "Dreamers."
"As the Trump administration steps up its callous disregard for the well-being of our immigrant friends and neighbors, we must step up our efforts to protect these vulnerable communities," said State Senator Hamilton. "We must continue to stand together in the face of the unjust policies Trump pushes. We must stand together for Dreamers, for our immigrant friends and neighbors, and for the dignity of every member of our communities."
Trump, in an announcement that was delivered by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, ordered an end to DACA, a program which allows individuals who were brought to the United States illegally as children to work legally and to remain without fear of immediate deportation.
"This is about the heart and soul of America — who we are, what we believe and how we treat young people," said Comptroller Stringer. "It's hard to imagine the fear tens of thousands of New Yorkers, and hundreds of thousands of Americans, are feeling today as their White House targets them. But every Dreamer should know that we are prepared to fight. I will not give up — and New York City won't give up."
Trump plans on phasing out the program over a six month period and calls on Congress to create replacement legislation in the meantime. With the possible termination of DACA, the more than 800,000 individuals protected under the program - including 40,000 New Yorkers - may face deportation as early as March 2018.
"History teaches us that deportations and the threats of them have been used as a measure to dehumanize, ostracize and as prelude to legitimize horrors that followed," warned Councilmember Williams. "We need to challenge this executive action in the courts, while putting pressure on Congress to address this issue legislatively and humanely. We must all become a part of the resistance. This President has made it clear that he's coming for all of us- whether we choose to acknowledge it or not," said Williams.
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who has been a vocal advocate of DACA and who urged President Obama in an open letter in 2014 to take further steps to fix the immigration laws, expressed in a joint statement with Councilmember Carlos Menchaca unwavering support for Dreamers and their families.
"While this White House continues to make clear that it is focused on punitive measures to limit the potential of our country, the New York City Council will continue to use every resource in our power to stand up for Dreamers, their families and the American dream."