Broad Reaction to the Loss of DACA

The Tuesday morning announcement by President Trump to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) triggered broad reactions from across the nation, including protests from coast to coast.  Here are some that the Vanguard has collected from Tuesday:

Davis Mayor Robb Davis:

“The Administration’s decision to end DACA provides a test of the commitment of Congress to do what is right. Will supporters of DACA from both parties come together to do the right thing and continue this program or will continued devotion to partisanship win out?

“This is a moral decision that will demonstrate what matters most. People’s lives could be forever altered–people who embody (any way you look at it) the values we all say are important: hard work, tenacity, sacrifice… Many hundreds of these live, work, and study in Davis–tightly woven into the fabric of who we, collectively, are.

“Will we get a bill that is human and people-centric or will meanness, exclusion, and moral vacuity win? We must push our leaders to accomplish what they have, to date, been unable to do: provide legislation that protects the status of these amazing young people. Then we can move on to the broader immigration reform that is needed.

“The nativist tendency in the Republican Party must be turned back and leaders within that party must have the courage to confront it.”

Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry:

“Today, President Trump continued his Administration’s aggressive attack on immigrants when he turned his back on 800,000 undocumented young people by terminating DACA,” said Aguiar-Curry.  “Rounding up law-abiding children will not make anyone safer.  DREAMers, who were brought to this country as young children, have done nothing to deserve the President’s attacks.  In most cases, these children have struggled to succeed, as Americans, in school, work, and in their communities.”

Congressman John Garamendi:

“There is no compassion in Trump’s position on #DACA. However, this fight is not over. Congress will now have six months to debate and vote on new policies affecting #DREAMers. I am calling on Congressional leadership to immediately schedule a vote on H.R. 3591, the American Hope Act, so our nation can continue to grow upon DACA’s successes.

“The American public overwhelmingly supports protecting the DREAMers, 200,000 of whom live in California. Leaders from both parties say they support the DREAMers, so there’s no excuse. Let’s work together to get this one right.”

UC Davis Chancellor Gary May:

“I am gravely disappointed in today’s White House decision to end a program that allows undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as small children to fulfill their dream of a college education without fear of deportation.

“Abandoning the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program runs counter to the University of California principles of open and equal access to higher education for students of all backgrounds.

“Turning our backs on these students is not who we are. At UC Davis, we open our doors to the world and give the best and brightest a chance to shine, no matter where they happened to be born.

“UC Davis is home to a dedicated community of DACA students from across the globe, including Latin America, China and the Philippines. Our AB 540 and Undocumented Student Center is a model of empowerment, opportunity and equity.

“These students — many of whom are the first in their families to attend a college — contribute to our rich diversity of cultures and perspectives that is integral to our success as a global university. They are paving a future for themselves and their families so they can give back to our society. UC Davis graduates who were protected from deportation under DACA have blossomed with careers in medicine, law, social work and much more.

“I stand firmly in support of these students and call on Congress to rise in defense of the DACA program to immediately pass bipartisan legislation that would provide a permanent solution for our students.

“Keep the American Dream alive, for all.”

Senator Kamala 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.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein:

“Congressional action is now the only way to guarantee that DACA recipients are shielded from deportation, and it must be our top priority. The DREAM Act—introduced by Senators Graham and Durbin to provide a path to citizenship for DACA recipients—deserves a vote as soon as possible.

“Failure to protect young people who have come out of the shadows would constitute an abject moral failure. DACA recipients registered with the government, had background checks and paid taxes. They provided extensive documentation about their lives and put their trust in the government. We can’t respond by penalizing them.

“DACA youth are the epitome of the American dream—95 percent are in school or working. Many came to our country as very young children, through no fault of their own. They’ve pursued their dreams, becoming doctors, engineers and teachers. They’re American in every way that matters, and we should welcome their contributions to our society.

“California is home to more DACA recipients than any other state, nearly 223,000. They’ve made incredible contributions, including to our vibrant tech industry, which spurred a letter of support from tech companies like Apple, Facebook, Google and Netflix.

“To DACA youth across the country, I say this is not over. I stand with you and your families. You are valued. Our country needs you. And I won’t stop fighting to protect you.”

Governor Jerry Brown:

“This six-month so-called reprieve does not change the Governor’s views – the Trump Administration’s action to end DACA is senseless and cruel. California has its eyes on Congress to do what it should have done years ago, but we cannot bank on that. So the Governor stands with Attorney General Becerra as he takes our fight to court to defend the Dreamers.”

Attorney General Xavier Becerra:

“President Trump has turned his back on hundreds of thousands of children and young Americans who came forward and put their trust in our government. But in terminating DACA, the Trump Administration has also violated the Constitution and federal law,” said Attorney General Becerra. “This Administration has chosen to ignore what American voters have said they think is right. Nearly 80 percent of voters want to protect the legal status of Dreamers. Ending the program is devastating not just for recipients, but for our economy. California businesses would lose more than a billion dollars in turnover costs. Attorney General Sessions claims this decision is full of ‘compassion,’ but real compassion would be treating Dreamers ‘with heart,’ as President Trump himself said. California is taking action because one in four DACA grantees live in our great state. I will do everything I can to fight for them.”

In July, Attorney General Becerra led 20 attorneys general in sending a letter  to President Trump urging him to maintain and defend DACA. In the letter, the attorneys general explain how DACA has benefited their states and the nation as a whole and call on Trump to fulfill his public commitment to Dreamers, whom he called “incredible kids” who should be treated “with heart.” Roughly a quarter of all DACA grantees, or more than 220,000 young people, live in California.

Jennie Pasquarella, Director of Immigrant Rights for the ACLU of California:

“Five years ago, the federal government made a deal with immigrant youth: as long as you meet certain criteria, you can live, study, and work here. Hundreds of thousands of young people came out of the shadows and accepted the government’s offer in good faith. They prospered and thrived as a result.

“Today, the Trump administration broke our government’s promise, upending the lives of 800,000 young immigrants and their families, and injecting uncertainty into thousands of homes, schools and workplaces across America.

“In California alone, more than 222,000 young immigrants use their DACA status to give back to this country in innumerable ways: they are our doctors, soldiers, teachers and students; our neighbors, family and friends.

“Now, the fate of DACA recipients in this nation lie in the hands of Congress. Lawmakers must decide if they are on the side of young people who are integral to this country’s future, or on the side of the racist forces motivating this President to end DACA.

“While this is a hard day for our diverse immigrant communities and this nation as a whole, we will continue to work toward the full recognition of these young people as belonging to this nation. Years of courage, sacrifice, and organizing won the DACA program in 2012. Nothing will deter these individuals – who are Americans in most respects – and their key allies in California and across the country, such as the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Centro Legal de la Raza, Asian Law Caucus: Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and CARECEN from continuing to work on behalf of their futures and holding those responsible accountable.”

CAIR National 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.”

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Keith O

    DACA was an unconstitutional illegal overreach by Obama and was going to be overturned in court anyway.  All Trump did was throw it back to the Congress to come up with a legal constitutional plan.

  2. Eric Gelber

    Focusing on the procedural issues with DACA is a way of ducking the substance and policy issues. Instead of showing leadership and expressing support for the DREAM Act, Trump took the cowardly way out and again pandered to his anti-immigrant base. He didn’t even have the decency to announce his decision himself, instead delegating to his AG, who has a long history of advocating for racist immigration policies, and who misrepresented facts in revealing the decision to rescind DACA. In the wake of lauding and pardoning the racist and sadistic Joe Arpaio, this heartless action leaves no doubt as to this president’s priorities and lack of moral vision.

  3. Howard P

    I find it more than a little ironic that the vast majority of DACA opponents, and those wanting stringent immigration restrictions/rules, are descendants of immigrants, most of whom only had to sign the ship manifest and maybe be checked for health issues…

    My ancestors were all ‘citizens’ who had no such requirements placed on them (except signing the ship manifest)… they just came, and settled in.   Sort of… there were some demands that the Irish all be deported, as they were ‘taking away jobs’ from those already here… they weren’t deported, tho’…

  4. Jim Hoch

    This must be very unwelcome news in congress. They like to defer their responsibilities to the executive when it protects them from a unpopular vote. I suspect even many of the Democrats would prefer to not vote on this.

      1. Keith O

        Media outlets are touting polls which supposedly show public support for the DACA amnesty — but careful polls show the public overwhelmingly prefers immigration policies which help their fellow Americans find good jobs.
        The pro-DACA polls ask Americans “‘Do you want to be nice to people?’ and most Americans do want to be nice to people,” said Roy Beck, founder of NumbersUSA, an immigration reform group, whose polls ask Americans to rank their often-contradictory views.

        1. Don Shor

          truthfeed dot com? Are you kidding me? Why do you even click on stuff like that? You’d get better information from the National Enquirer.
          As to the point made by the person quoted, the two positions being compared are not mutually contradictory.

        2. Keith O

          It shows that it’s all in how the question is asked when it comes to polling.  When immigration policies are put up against Americans losing jobs to immigrants the outcome is very different.

          1. Don Shor

            Americans support the immigrant children and young adults protected by DACA. This action is a political disaster for the Republicans, many of whom recognize that. It is supported by the hard-core Trump supporters, and that’s about all.

      2. Don Shor

        Nancy Pelosi could get nearly 100% of the Democratic Party caucus in the House to vote for a DACA replacement. Combined with a minority of Republican votes, pro-DACA legislation could pass tomorrow. Likewise Senate Democrats would support it. The question is whether Speaker Ryan could get a bill to the floor of the House that wouldn’t violate the Hastert Rule. So this is entirely an issue for the House and Senate GOP leadership to solve right now.

      3. Howard P

        C’mon… what Jim said was,

        many of the Democrats would prefer to not vote on this.

        True story… then you seem to twist that to,

        You’re expecting the Dems to oppose to DACA?

        I hereby issue a yellow card…

        Truth is that a vote would put many reps, in ‘swing’ districts between the proverbial rock and a hard place… politicians don’t want that… more is the pity…

        1. Howard P

          Raises an interesting point… perhaps a future “article”… a person’s responsibility to represent his/her district, and/or stay in office, and personal conscience/doing what is ‘right’…  the DACA issue is a good litmus test…

        2. Jim Hoch

          “Raises an interesting point” The more interesting point for someone of my advanced age is that white working class voters used to be Democrats, before they were thrown overboard as not fashionable enough.

  5. David Greenwald


    Why this isn’t unconstitutional as explained by Andrew Pincus: “Granting “deferrals of removal” or “deferred action”— a determination by the federal government that it will not seek to remove an individual from the United States — has been an established practice for more than 50 years, under both Republican and Democratic administrations. That exercise of prosecutorial discretion rests on the president’s constitutional authority to execute the laws and has been expressly recognized by the Supreme Court.”

    1. David Greenwald

      He continues: “Also, the immigration laws specifically charge the secretary of Homeland Security with “establishing national immigration enforcement policies and priorities.” Deferral of removal is just that: determining that certain people should not be priorities for enforcement because others — criminals, for example — should be the targets for limited federal resources. Focusing enforcement resources on dangerous individuals protects everyone in the United States and promotes the rule of law. Congress has recognized the legitimacy of “deferred action” status in a variety of statutes, including the USA Patriot Act.”

        1. David Greenwald

          You could be right, but my initial thought was this is largely correct – the executive has that kind of authority to determine how enforcement is to be conducted.

          1. Don Shor

            That’s what they’ve done with cannabis. Imagine if the feds decided to rigorously enforce those laws.

        2. Jim Hoch

          “how enforcement is to be conducted” is not the same as providing status. For example the DPD can say that driving without a license is not an enforcement priority but they don’t issue you a license. They may not prosecute people for camping next to the 113 but they don’t issue you a deed either. 

          The congress is the right venue for this. It is their job to decide.

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