Sep 6, 2017 (San Diego) The reaction to the end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in San Diego was swift. This will affect over 200,000 Californians, many of them school age children. In a press release, San Diego United School District said that
Despite this decision, San Diego Unified School District wants to firmly assure students and parents that we remain committed to protecting the rights of every child to an education. All children are welcome in our school community.
The mission of public schools is to create opportunity—not for some children, but for all.
We are better off as a nation thanks to the contributions of immigrants regardless of their legal status. Rescinding the rights of these dreamers is an injustice to the American People.
Superintendent Cindy Marten added that “The DACA program has helped bring thousands of talented students and teachers to our classrooms, many of whom have become doctors, police officers and firefighters – contributing members of our communities. Rescinding this program not only impacts the legal status for thousands of immigrant children and families who make our city and our schools great, but the emotional toll is immeasurable. This action is unacceptable and as a district we will fight to protect the rights of the students we serve and deeply care for.”
Richard Barrera, President of the school board said this “Under the DACA program, our immigrant students gained the hope and confidence that – like every other student – they would have the opportunity to work hard, graduate, go to college, find work and go on to lead meaningful lives. It is unconscionable to leave these young people in limbo. They deserve to know that the adults in our community will support them. They deserve to know that if they work hard and do their best, they will succeed. That is why it’s time for Congress to act.”
Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez- Fletcher said in a statement that “It’s hateful. It’s vicious. It’s cruel. It’s disgusting. My heart breaks for the hundreds of thousands of people who are now forced to cope with this living nightmare. I can only pray Congress musters some basic human decency and prevents this horrific policy from becoming reality.”
Former President Barack Obama, who was president when the program stated though executive action posted this on his Facebook account:
Over the years, politicians of both parties have worked together to write legislation that would have told these young people – our young people – that if your parents brought you here as a child, if you’ve been here a certain number of years, and if you’re willing to go to college or serve in our military, then you’ll get a chance to stay and earn your citizenship. And for years while I was President, I asked Congress to send me such a bill.
That bill never came. And because it made no sense to expel talented, driven, patriotic young people from the only country they know solely because of the actions of their parents, my administration acted to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people, so that they could continue to contribute to our communities and our country. We did so based on the well-established legal principle of prosecutorial discretion, deployed by Democratic and Republican presidents alike, because our immigration enforcement agencies have limited resources, and it makes sense to focus those resources on those who come illegally to this country to do us harm. Deportations of criminals went up. Some 800,000 young people stepped forward, met rigorous requirements, and went through background checks. And America grew stronger as a result.
But today, that shadow has been cast over some of our best and brightest young people once again. To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating – because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel. What if our kid’s science teacher, or our friendly neighbor turns out to be a Dreamer? Where are we supposed to send her? To a country she doesn’t know or remember, with a language she may not even speak?
Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated. It’s about who we are as a people – and who we want to be.
What makes us American is not a question of what we look like, or where our names come from, or the way we pray. What makes us American is our fidelity to a set of ideals – that all of us are created equal; that all of us deserve the chance to make of our lives what we will; that all of us share an obligation to stand up, speak out, and secure our most cherished values for the next generation. That’s how America has traveled this far. That’s how, if we keep at it, we will ultimately reach that more perfect union.
This has also been criticized by Republicans, and business leaders, who know these young men and women are contributing to the country. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) posted a statement on Twitter where he was critical of the decision.
So did others.
The ball is now in Congress, where they have six months to pass the Dream Act, which failed to pass every time it has been introduced since 2001. It has failed both with Republican and Democratic presidents. Partly because the Freedom Caucus, among others, are against any form of what they perceive as amnesty.
Moreover, President Donald Trump is wavering over his Twitter account. He posted late last night “Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can’t, I will revisit this issue!”