Home Immigration Virginia Dems React to Trump’s “Ugly,” Un-American,” “Heartless” DACA Decision

Virginia Dems React to Trump’s “Ugly,” Un-American,” “Heartless” DACA Decision

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I’ll post reactions to this disgusting, disgraceful decision as I get them. It will be interesting to see what spineless coward Ed Gillespie has to say for himself.

KAINE STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT TRUMP’S DECISION TO END DACA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement on President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:  

“President Trump has made a heartless decision to target hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought to the United States through no fault of their own, breaking his promise that these ‘incredible kids’ could ‘rest easy’ and putting them at risk for being torn away from their families. In Virginia, 12,000 of these Dreamers are neighbors, friends, and students who just want the opportunity to contribute to their communities and our economy. Today’s action will force DACA recipients back into the shadows and put them in danger of being deported from the only home they’ve ever known.  Congress should immediately pass the bipartisan DREAM Act to protect these kids and then find an agreement on long-overdue, comprehensive immigration reform.”

Kaine, who has been a strong supporter of DACA and comprehensive immigration reform, met last week with DACA recipients in Alexandria who shared their stories about how the program has made a difference in their lives. DACA recipients—also known as “Dreamers”—were brought here at a young age, through no fault of their own, and have made countless contributions to the country’s economy and their communities.

Connolly Statement on President Trump’s Decision to End the DACA Program

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) released the following statement on President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program:

“Dreamers are Americans. They’re not pawns, they’re not aliens. They embrace the best of America. To uproot them violates our own values. 800,000 Dreamers contribute $460.3 billion to our GDP and $24.6 billion to Social Security and Medicare. It is self-defeating to disrupt their economic contributions. This is ugly and un-American.”

STATEMENT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING
~ On President Trump’s decision to dismantle DACA ~
RICHMOND( September 5, 2017)-Attorney General Mark R. Herring released the following statement condemning President Trump’s plan to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Attorney General Herring and 19 fellow state attorneys general previously wrote President Trump urging him to maintain the program and committed to supporting the effort to defend DACA against potential legal challenges:
“This decision is harmful and heartless. It will hurt our economy, make our communities less safe, and literally tear families apart. Instead of focusing on dangerous gang members and violent felons, the Trump Administration will now be in the business of picking up and throwing out teenagers and young people who were brought here as children, have lived responsible, productive lives, and know no home but Virginia. DACA is one of our nation’s most sensible and broadly supported immigration programs. Business leaders, faith leaders, and elected officials from both parties agree it is the right thing to do morally and economically. Its 12,000 recipients in Virginia came forward in good faith out of a desire to continue to work, learn, and contribute to their home community. They deserve better than to be thrown to the curb by President Trump in an attempt to please an extreme fringe of anti-immigrant zealots.”
Recipients of DACA, often called DREAMers, are young people who were brought to the United States at a young age without proper immigration documentation. In order to receive DACA status, a young person must come forward and apply for deferred action. To qualify, the applicant must have been brought to the United States at a young age, continually resided in the United States for the last ten years, be in school or the military, and have a clean criminal record.
More than 12,000 young people in Virginia have been approved for DACA according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. These young people are now in school or working in Virginia and it is estimated that removing them from the workforce would cost Virginia more than $711 million in annual GDP losses.
Nationwide, nearly 800,000 young people have been approved for DACA, and it is estimated that ending DACA would result in a loss of approximately $460 billion from the national GDP over the next decade. For this reason, business leaders and CEOs from some of America’s largest companies, including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, General Motors, Facebook, HP, Starbucks, and more have written an open letter to President Trump and Congressional leaders expressing their support for the program.
A recent poll showed that nearly 80% of Americans believe that DREAMers should be allowed to remain in their home communities in the United States, rather than deported back to countries they may not have been to in decades and where they may have no connections.
recent survey of more than 3,000 DACA recipients found that:
  • The average age of arrival was 6.5 years old
  • 45% have a parent, sibling, spouse, or child who is a US citizen
  • 91% were employed, as opposed to only 44% before receiving DACA
  • 65% reported pursuing educational opportunities that were previously off limits for them
  • Nearly three quarters were pursuing a bachelor’s degree or higher

Governor McAuliffe Statement on President Trump’s DACA Announcement 

RICHMOND – Governor McAuliffe released the following statement after the Trump administration announced it will rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

“President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA is a heartless attack on 800,000 young people who were brought here by their parents at a young age. It will plunge families, communities, businesses, and schools into terrible uncertainty for no reason other than to keep a political promise to extremists on the far right-wing of his party. DREAMers are our friends, neighbors, co-workers, students, fellow taxpayers and the people who serve in the military to protect us. An attack on them is an attack on the fabric of our nation.

“Today’s decision will not make America great again – it will damage our economy, make us less safe and even further diminish our nation’s standing as a leader on the world stage. As the Governor of a state where DREAMers make a significant contribution, I urge President Trump to reconsider this terrible decision and work with congress to pass real immigration reform that will bring these young people out of the shadows for good.”

Beyer Statement on the Future of DACA

September 5, 2017 (Washington, D.C.) – Rep. Don Beyer released this statement today following the Trump Administration’s announcement that it would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months.

“President Trump’s decision to end DACA and begin deporting our Dreamers betrays nearly one million young people who grew up with this country as their own and made so many contributions to it,” said Rep. Beyer. “This act of malice will tear apart hundreds of thousands of American families and inflict serious economic damage on the country. Congress has no choice but to act immediately, and it should begin consideration of the American Hope Act to protect Dreamers.”

Rep. Beyer is an original cosponsor of the successor to the DREAM Act, the American Hope Act, and has signed previous letters to Presidents Obama and Trump urging their administrations to protect the DACA program, and to defend it from legal challenges.

Statement by Rep. Donald McEachin

“Today, the Trump Administration punished young people for choices made by their parents and penalized them for striving for the American dream – working hard and getting a good education.

“President Trump used Attorney General Jeff Sessions to inform Americans that the program ‘is being rescinded’ to ‘limit’ the number of immigrants we accept into our country. Study after study has demonstrated that DACA recipients go to school, work good jobs and contribute back –  in tax dollars and brain power – to our country and our economy. Instead of appreciating their contributions, this administration has once again demonstrated their narrow, bigoted view of what makes this country great.

“The policy announced today only serves to undermine young people who have done nothing to deserve forced separation from their friends, family, and community. Against the advice of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, President Trump is proceeding with terminating this program. One cannot help but wonder if this President’s real motivation is to undo this program because it began under President Obama’s leadership.

“Let’s do what we know is right – allow these young people to remain here, in the country they call home, to earn an honest living, to attend school, and to pursue the American Dream.

“I stand with the Dreamers, and I urge all of my colleagues in both chambers of Congress to do the same.”

STATEMENT OF U.S. SEN. MARK R. WARNER
~ On President Trump’s decision to end DACA ~

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the below statement on President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

“The DACA program was a promise to protect certain children of undocumented immigrants, who came to this country through no fault of their own, so they could safely come out of the shadows, attain legal status and realize their full potential. Over the years, the DREAMers have shown us their true character—working hard to become this nation’s next generation of students, entrepreneurs, and military men and women.  And while Congress has a responsibility to enact comprehensive immigration reform that provides them with a fair path to citizenship, which the Senate passed in 2013, we cannot let the Trump Administration’s disgraceful anti-immigrant policies leave nearly 800,000 DREAMers in limbo. Going back on our word threatens their safety, harms our economy and speaks volumes about who we are as a country.”

 

STATEMENT: Trump’s Decision to End DACA is Cruel and Un-American

Richmond, Virginia— Progress Virginia this morning condemned the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and called on Congress to act immediately to pass the bipartisan DREAM Act. Ending DACA endangers the lives and hopes of nearly 800,000 hardworking DACA recipients, also known as DREAMers, who use the program to attend college and get work permits.

“The young people who have benefited from DACA are the realization of the American dream,” said Anna Scholl, Executive Director of Progress Virginia. “They arrived in the U.S. as children and made it their home by contributing to their families and communities in powerful ways. Trump’s decision to end DACA is heartless and disregards the contributions DREAMers have made to our country. Congress must act immediately to protect DREAMers in our communities from this cruel action.”

According to the Interfaith Worker Justice, DACA has allowed 12,100 young people to live and work legally in Virginia. An April 2017 poll also found that 78 percent of American voters supported giving DREAMers a chance to stay permanently in the U.S.

It is now up to Congress to extend legal status to DREAMers. A bipartisan effort from both parties should make protecting DREAMers a priority this fall. Nothing less than a bill that offers young immigrants a pathway to citizenship is acceptable.

Statement from the Justin Fairfax campaign on DACA

“The announcement today rescinding DACA is a slap in the face of what it means to be American. This White House wants to define an American in a way that is meant to detract from the fabric of our country and the story of millions of men, women and children throughout our history. We are a nation built by people who came to this country to build a better life for themselves and their families. Immigrants are a crucial part of the narrative of our nation and any attempt to erase that history is an attack on us all. This  is another example of this administration trying to take us backwards.

“Here in Virginia, more than 12,000 young people have been approved for DACA. They are Virginian students or workers in who pay taxes and contribute to our economy and our society.  Removing them from the workforce would cost Virginia more than an estimated $711 million in annual GDP losses. As Lieutenant Governor, economic security and opportunity for all Virginians is my priority; rescinding DACA is a step backward which we cannot afford to take.

“DACA enables some of our best and brightest youth to come out of the shadows and participate in the fullness that is America. One of the things that makes America such a great nation is our diversity and immigrants are very much a part of that. Together, we must stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters and let the Trump administration know we will not be divided; an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”

What does it mean to be an American? To me, it means to have unending hope. The kind of audacious hope for the future that surpasses obstacles, challenges, and preconceived limits. To have a drive and work ethic that allows you to seize all the opportunities that this country promises.

When I think of what it means to be an American, I think of 20 year old Virginian, Jennifer Romero. Jennifer works for CASA In Action, an organization that advocates for pro-immigrant policies and politicians here in Virginia. She also wants to serve her country by joining the Marines one day and then become a teacher. She’s a fellow Virginian, young but politically minded, has hopes and dreams deeply rooted in this country, with a passion to serve the only community she has ever known.

Donald Trump and this administration do not, however, view Jennifer as an American, due to the fact that she illegally crossed the border into the United States from Mexico when she was brought here as a toddler. Irrespective of human compassion and empathy, our legacy as a nation of immigrants and of the great value that people like Jennifer bring to our communities, yesterday President Trump chose to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA.

Due to that action, Jennifer and 800,000 other DREAMers face an uncertain future, the threat of the expiration of their work permits and possible deportation to countries that they do not consider to be their home.

As President Trump has now abdicated his responsibility, and broken his own promise to “take care of those kids”, I now call on Congress to introduce legislation that will codify DACA as quickly as possible, so that lives aren’t ruined and families are not broken up. We as a country cannot allow the next six months to go by without addressing this issue. President Trump has once again manufactured a crisis and Congress must now do their job and clean up this mess before American families, businesses, and our economy pay the price.

The DREAM Act, which has languished in Congress for 17 years, came closest to being passed in 2010 under a Democratic majority. However, the bill was not able to pass the 60 vote threshold in the Senate required to overcome a filibuster. Although the bill initially passed the House with a simple majority, our own Rob Wittman voted ‘No’ and opposed the DREAM Act.

Rep. Wittman and his Republican counterparts have consistently shown that they have no intention of carrying out comprehensive immigration reform or, at a minimum, dealing with immigrants who came to this country as minors who have proven that they are benefits to their communities.

Although Trump can seem to be an exaggerated caricature of a politician, when it comes down to policy, he is a pretty standard Republican. His decision to end DACA and imperil hundreds of thousands of Americans is in line with the GOP’s recent history. Just today, Rep. Wittman released a statement applauding President Trump’s action and echoing the same talking points that we heard from Attorney General Sessions yesterday. With this statement affirming the end of DACA and his ‘Yes’ vote on the Republican healthcare bill, Rep. Wittman has consistently proven that he will reliably fall in line behind Trump and support his actions no matter the damage to Americans, this district, or the country.

Ideological differences aside, gone are the days when empathy and compassion were shared values, no matter the party.

Congress must work in a bipartisan way to ensure that legislation is passed to protect those enrolled in DACA ahead of President Trump’s March deadline. Once their livelihoods have been secured, we must then push forward and bring the DREAM Act back to the floor, and make its passage a priority.

DREAMers, I stand with you.

I will continue to march and protest on your behalf. Securing your status as Americans, with inalienable rights, will always be a priority of mine. I will fight for you as a private citizen, and that fight will continue once we’ve defeated Rob Wittman next November.
Stay strong. Stand together. Continue to resist, and we shall overcome.

  • Another reason why Bob BADlatte desperately needs to be defeated.

    “Throughout President Obama’s time in office, he used his ‘pen and phone’ to overstep his authority and unilaterally rewrite our nation’s laws. Individuals who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents as children are in a very difficult position, but no president has the authority to change the law on his own terms. President Obama’s refusal to enforce our immigration laws and unilaterally-created immigration programs encouraged more illegal immigration and contributed to the surge of unaccompanied minors and families seeking to enter the U.S. illegally. His actions were wholly unconstitutional and compromised the integrity of the immigration system and the rule of law.

    “President Trump has done the right thing by ending this unlawfully-contrived program. In addition to working on immigration enforcement legislation, per the President’s request, I stand ready to work with the Trump Administration and my colleagues in Congress to address this problem the right way: through reasonable legislation passed by Congress, rather than by executive fiat.”

    • Perseus1986

      “… but no president has the authority to change the law on his own terms…” does that include the Travel Ban executive order Bob?

  • Ed Gillespie, who has moved FAAAAR right for this election, goes “full Trump” on DREAMers

    https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4348/36907321341_641eda9b19_b.jpg

  • DPVA Statement on Ed Gillespie’s Decision to Endorse Donald Trump’s Heartless Immigration Policies

    Gillespie Seemingly Endorses Trump-Backed Plan that Will Limit Legal Immigration by 50 Percent

    Today, Ed Gillespie released a statement to reporters saying that he backs Senator Tom Cotton’s RAISE Act — which could deny DREAMers any path to citizenship and cut legal immigration by 50 percent. The bill — which is endorsed by the White House — would devastate Virginia’s economy and is strongly opposed by both Republicans and Democrats.

    “Make no mistake, Ed Gillespie just endorsed Donald Trump and the far right’s draconian, heartless immigration policies,” said DPVA spokesperson Kevin Donohoe. “When Ed Gillespie got paid as a lobbyist, he was all for the DREAMers and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Now in his desperate effort to win over Trump voters, Gillespie is endorsing an agenda that will pull the rug out from more than 12,000 young Virginia DREAMers and throw the commonwealth’s entire economy into chaos. In his bid to win the Governor’s Mansion, Ed Gillespie has sided with Donald Trump and Corey Stewart over Virginia’s faith leaders and business community. It’s a decision he will come to regret.”

    Paid for by the Democratic Party of Virginia, http://www.vademocrats.org. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

  • Barack Obama:

    Immigration can be a controversial topic. We all want safe, secure borders and a dynamic economy, and people of goodwill can have legitimate disagreements about how to fix our immigration system so that everybody plays by the rules.

    But that’s not what the action that the White House took today is about. This is about young people who grew up in America – kids who study in our schools, young adults who are starting careers, patriots who pledge allegiance to our flag. These Dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper. They were brought to this country by their parents, sometimes even as infants. They may not know a country besides ours. They may not even know a language besides English. They often have no idea they’re undocumented until they apply for a job, or college, or a driver’s license.

    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?

    Let’s be clear: the action taken today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision, and a moral question. Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us. They are that pitcher on our kid’s softball team, that first responder who helps out his community after a disaster, that cadet in ROTC who wants nothing more than to wear the uniform of the country that gave him a chance. Kicking them out won’t lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone’s taxes, or raise anybody’s wages.

    It is precisely because this action is contrary to our spirit, and to common sense, that business leaders, faith leaders, economists, and Americans of all political stripes called on the administration not to do what it did today. And now that the White House has shifted its responsibility for these young people to Congress, it’s up to Members of Congress to protect these young people and our future. I’m heartened by those who’ve suggested that they should. And I join my voice with the majority of Americans who hope they step up and do it with a sense of moral urgency that matches the urgency these young people feel.

    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.

  • Robert Reich:

    This will go down as one of the cruelest acts of a presidency defined by needless destruction and blind hatred. This morning Trump announced that he plans to end DACA, the Obama-era program that allows young people who came to the United States as children to remain here legally. The decision could put more than 800,000 young people at risk for deportation. These kids didn’t do anything wrong. They’ve been here most of their lives, and now they could be forced to leave everything behind.

    Trump’s decision won’t take full effect until early next year, which gives Congress six months to pass some sort of solution. This will only add to the growing backlog on Capitol Hill, which also includes tax cuts, infrastructure, and raising the debt ceiling. In passing the buck to Congress on DACA, Trump is playing chicken with the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans and their families.

    These next six months are going to be critical. We need to urge Congress to pass legislation that will give DREAMERs a pathway to citizenship, so they can finally live without the fear of deportation.

  • Pathetic statement by Barbara Comstock – she MUST be defeated next year.

    “President Obama’s executive order in 2012 regarding DACA overstepped his constitutional authority and I appreciate that the President has now properly put the authority to pass laws back in the hands of Congress. We know our immigration system is broken. The House and Senate along with the administration must now come together and find common ground that leads to bipartisan solutions that not only address the DACA issue, but also our critical border security and enforcement issues. Many will be tempted to devolve into partisan fights over this, but the President has provided a six month period to work together on these important issues.””

  • Dave the Brat:

    Republicans won in November because they promised to undo key parts of President Obama’s legacy. So far, they haven’t. Congressional Republicans could not come together to defund Obamacare, they did not defund Planned Parenthood, they definitely don’t want to build a border wall, but now, almost ten months in to the Republican Congress, top Republicans on Capitol Hill have finally found an issue they can really rally around: Preserving Obama’s immigration policies. President Obama himself told us very clearly that executive action on amnesty was unconstitutional, but if Congress couldn’t get it right he would. That led to his overreach on DACA….

    According to Tucker Carlson in the clip below, the numbers tell the story: 1 in 4 Americans of working age don’t have jobs right now. 14 million are on disability, 1 in 6 are on anti-depressants, and more than 50,000 died of drug overdoses just in the last year. Americans are hurting because Washington elites have been unconcerned about how their policies affect everyday hardworking Americans. We need to get our immigration policies right.

    The American people are fed up with broken promises, and deals that benefit the elites on the backs of the middle class. They haven’t been told the truth for 40 years — and their wages have been flat for that same time. There is no shortcut to doing it right. Our labor markets, our welfare policy and immigration policy are all tied together. Our path forward needs to be constitutional. Obama’s illegal move on DACA was not constitutional and his error needs to be corrected.

  • From the VA House Democratic Caucus:

    House Dems Condemn Trump’s DACA Decision

    RICHMOND, Va. – House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring today issued the following joint statement following the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

    “President Trump’s decision to end DACA is heartless and cruel. It affects children who were brought here by no fault of their own, who know nothing but and have nothing but their home here in America. These young people enrich our communities – 97 percent of DACA recipients are employed or enrolled in school, and they contribute nearly $711 million to Virginia’s economy annually. Ending DACA is callous to its core, and we urge Congress to pass legislation that protects and supports these Dreamers.”

  • Arlington County Board statement on DACA:

    We are gravely disappointed with President Trump’s decision to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the program that has given hope to some 800,000 Dreamers by protecting them from deportation and allowing them to more fully integrate into our country — their country.

    The young people protected under DACA have gone to school, saluted our flag and served in our armed services. Many never knew they were not citizens until they looked for a job or applied to college. They have made many contributions to our nation. Arlington’s own DACA recipients have been an integral part of this County through their academic achievements in Arlington Public Schools and their leadership in the community.

    Since 2012, DACA has allowed certain undocumented immigrants who entered the United States before the age of 16 to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and made them eligible to work. In short, it gave nearly one million young people hope.

    The president’s act of cruelty will tear apart families, cause substantial economic damage to our nation and further divide Americans. Congress must now act before the March deadline to protect the Dreamers. Congress should immediately consider the American Hope Act, cosponsored by Rep. Don Beyer, who has shown real leadership on the immigration issue.

    While Congress has tried and failed in the past to enact comprehensive immigration reform, permanently addressing the fate of America’s Dreamers cannot wait. Now is their opportunity to act, and they should do so immediately.

    Arlington again reaffirms its commitment as a welcoming community that recognizes, respects and supports the contributions of all its members. Today, Arlington stands especially with these young people, our Dreamers and DACA recipients