Since January, the Trump administration has taken one anti-immigrant action after another. But they just took their xenophobic agenda to another level of cruelty.
Donald Trump recently announced his intent to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Established by President Obama in 2012, DACA provides legal protection from deportation for immigrant youth. These young people — often called DREAMers — must have come to the United States as children and meet other certain requirements.
If Trump’s action is implemented, it could leave as many as 800,000 immigrant youth without work permits or driver's licenses, and would make them vulnerable to deportations.
Ending DACA is immoral
Make no mistake. This is a xenophobic, politically motivated act.
Whether it’s calling immigrants “rapists” and “criminals” or pledging to ban Muslim immigrants, Trump has a horrific track record of prejudiced actions and remarks.
And by caving to the will of 10 extreme state attorneys general who threatened to sue him if he didn’t end DACA before September 5, Trump has prioritized dangerous and fear-fueled anti-immigrant ideology over people’s lives. This action ignores all the evidence that DREAMers are working every day to strengthen their families and communities.
Health care has no borders
Trump’s decision doesn’t just cause fear and panic in immigrant communities across the country; it compounds yet another obstacle: immigrants’ access to quality health care. Repealing DACA would make existing health inequities worse.
The consequences of being undocumented can contribute to a culture of fear in immigrant communities. As a result, many are too afraid to seek the basic health care they need. The repeal of DACA only further heightens this fear and creates more barriers.
All people deserve the highest quality of care, no matter what. No matter who they are, where they live, where they are from, or what their immigration status is.
The bottom line
The livelihood, safety, and security of 800,000 immigrant youth is on the line. These are brave young adults who are working or going to school, building their futures, and contributing to their communities. America is their home. DACA recipients and DREAMers are part of our community and stripping away the legal protections they’ve been promised is immoral and wrong. Without DACA, young people live in fear of deportation and their future is uncertain.
You can get involved in the fight to protect immigrant rights — including the DACA program. Find out how here.