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.