Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today issued the following statement on President Trump’s announcement to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months:
“An end to DACA is simply un-American. We would be exiling 800,000 young adults and children from the only country that many of them have ever known, to countries they don’t know. Their life is here and for the most part always has been. They are Americans in all but their birth certificates.
“Ending DACA does nothing to address the real problems posed by our broken immigration system. Rather it jeopardizes the progress DACA made to bring undocumented immigrants out of the shadows, it stokes uncertainty in our immigrant communities, and it adds fire to the heated anti-immigrant rhetoric we saw on the campaign trail last year and continue to hear during rallies since January.
“Since 2012, DACA has provided hundreds of thousands of young adults with a measure of certainty, and the opportunity to study, work, and provide for their family and community. Many of these young adults are our neighbors, classmates, and co-workers. Over 230,000 individuals in LA and Orange Counties are DACA-eligible. This decision is an injustice to them, to their families, and to our community.
“We need a comprehensive solution to fix our broken immigration system, but that work starts by granting some measure of certainty to families already here. The President’s actions pull the rug out from under these hardworking young people who know no country but America.
“The fact is that DACA is working. Recent surveys indicate that 91 percent of DACA recipients are employed. Further, these immigrants are starting new businesses at almost double the rate of the general population. Overall, they would potentially contribute over $460 billion to our economy over the next decade.
“There’s bipartisan agreement in Congress that we should not punish dreamers. Thirteen Republicans in the House and four Republican Senators have co-sponsored legislation to codify the protections of the DACA program. These young people want to work hard and build a life here in America, we shouldn’t erect barriers between them and success, but I’m afraid the President’s action today would do just that.”