DACA's Widespread Support Clear as Program's Fate Under Trump Looms

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president would announce his decision on DACA Tuesday. (Photo: Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association (MTEA)/flickr/cc)

DACA's Widespread Support Clear as Program's Fate Under Trump Looms

"We are not going to give up," says immigrant rights advocate

Ahead of an announcement from the White House on the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, mobilizations online and on the streets Friday demonstrated support for the roughly 800,000 "Dreamers."

President Donald Trump will make his announcement Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday afternoon, leaving days more of uncertainty for those who may face the threat of deportation.

Among the actions was rally in downtown Los Angeles. "We are not going to give up," said Angelica Salas, executive director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles. Referring to the Dreamers she said, "They are American. This is their home. This is where they went to school. This is where they have their families, their parents, their everything."

A small rally also took place in St. Louis and in Austin.

In Denver, top Democrats joined immigrant rights advocates to show support for the program--an action mirrored at the Kansas Statehouse.

The Obama-era program provides legal protection to people who came to the U.S. as children without authorization. As USA Today further explains, it

allows two-year stays for certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country before their 16th birthday who have attended school or joined the military and have not committed any serious crimes.They receive a renewable two-year period of deportation protections and eligibility for a work permit.

"DACA recipients," the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) writes,

are part of the everyday fabric of our communities. They're hair stylists, software developers, dental hygienists, and more. To pull the rug from under their feet would not only be absurdly cruel, it would undermine the whole economy. Reports estimate that ending DACA could reduce the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by $433.4 billion over the next 10 years, but that doesn't even begin to touch the personal losses people could suffer if families are torn apart.

Though Trump said Friday "We love Dreamers," and said in April that they should "rest easy," there's reason for concern. As PRIreported,

Trump has wavered in his position on DACA. On the campaign trail, he promised supporters he'd end the program on "day one" in office and called the protections "unconstitutional executive amnesty."

The administration also faces a threat from attorneys general from 10 states who vowed to sue if DACA isn't ended. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is also a critic of the program.

But the program has support not only from progressive quarters like National Nurses United, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and the ACLU.

It's also come from hundreds of U.S. executives as well as leaders within the president's own party. Among them is House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.), who said Friday: "These are kids who know no other country, who were brought here by their parents and don't know another home. And so I really do believe there that there needs to be a legislative solution."

According to Vanita Gupta, president and CEO, Leadership Conference of Civil and Human Rights, "It would be a grave moral and legal error for the Trump administration to end the DACA program."

"We must not allow the hate and violence we saw in the streets of Charlottesville to become the guiding force for policymaking in this country. Targeting innocent immigrant young people would only deepen the moral crisis President Trump has plunged his administration into," she told press last week.

Supporters of the program are tracking developments with the hashtag #SaveDACA:

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.